CONTENTS

 

1. INTRODUCTION TO THE INITIATIVE

2. PROJECT BACKGROUND

 

3. MAJOR PROJECTS COMPONENTS

 

4. THE WAY FORWARD

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE INITIATIVE

 

Chemical industries are spread throughout the country in isolation as well as in clusters. These industries, due to the nature of their processes and products require storage and handling of various types of chemicals – several of them hazardous in nature. These hazardous chemicals are stored, processed and transported through road, rail and pipelines to meet industry requirements. Despite using the latest safety systems/equipment and technologies, hazardous chemicals and processes do pose a possible threat to society. The trauma of the Bhopal gas tragedy is still fresh in people’s memories where in less than two hours, over 2000 people died due to accidental release of toxic Methyl Isocyanate (MIC). Even after Bhopal, the frequency of chemical accidents has reduced, though not sufficiently. Considering the seriousness of the recurring loss of life and property, such accidents need to be minimized to the extent possible and those that occur, tackled immediately to reduce such losses. There is an increased awareness at the government and also the industries resulting in several new initiatives targeted towards enhancing safety and disaster management. The Ministry of Environment,Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India is the nodal ministry for management of hazardous substances and related issues. MoEF&CC has done commendable efforts over the last two decades to ensure safe handling of hazardous chemicals so as to minimize the number of accidents involving such chemicals. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 has been promulgated followed by the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989 (amended in 2000) and Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning Preparedness and Response) Rules, 1996. These rules have put the responsibilities on industrial units, district authorities, state and central governments to take adequate steps towards minimization of chemical accidents and improvement of emergency response systems. Identification and labeling of hazardous chemicals, development of material safety data sheets, carrying out annual safety audits, development of onsite emergency plans, conducting onsite mock drills twice a year, are some of the legal requirements under these rules. In addition, these rules also define Major Accident Hazard (MAH) units as those, which are storing/handling hazardous chemicals beyond certain threshold quantities. Threshold quantities for each chemical are explicitly specified in the rules. Further, District Emergency Authority headed by district collector has been assigned the responsibility of developing offsite emergency plan for his district. The MoEF&CC has funded several projects in past few years to cover Major Accident Hazard (MAH) units throughout the country for their rapid safety audits and hazard analyses – to assess risk posed by such units, calculate the extent of damage under different failure scenarios and assess their preparedness levels. MoEF&CC has also funded preparation of offsite emergency plans in districts with major clusters of MAH units. These plans give guidance to district authorities on chemical emergency management. Continuing with its objective of loss prevention from chemical accidents, which is a major concern of the Ministry of Environment,Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), it has taken an initiative in 2002 to develop GIS Based Emergency Planning and Response (GEPR) System for clusters of Major Accident Hazard (MAH) units. This web application that you are in, is result of almost a decade of efforts spanning IV phases covering almost a thousand MAH units in 63 districts across 15 industrialized states of the country. This prodict comes with several improvements over the previous phases notably the software is now web based with high resolution mapping and data updating capability.

TOP

 

PROJECT BACKGROUND :

 

Major Accident Hazard Units are spread across the length and breadth of the country. These MAH units are often found in clusters located within notified Industrial estates though some are outside in isolated locations. To manage chemical emergencies arising out of hazardous material releases from such clusters of MAH units requires great planning and co-ordination between several agencies simultaneously. The response to possible chemical emergencies is a subject of great concern to the nodal ministry for co-ordination of chemical emergencies, namely the Ministry of Environment,Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India. MoEF&CC had appointed National Informatics Center (NIC) in 2002 to develop a complete software package comprising databases of MAH units, response agencies and resources available at district level to combat chemicals emergencies, base maps marked with locations of MAH units, resources and response agencies and a front end menu driven software which will link these databases and display the information graphically for all possible chemical accidents and their risk contours under various possible release and meteorological conditions. Three phases of the project have already been completed viz. Phase I Gujarat: Ahmedabad, Bharuch, Kutchh, Surat, Vadodara and Valsad. Maharashtra: Mumbai, Nashik, Pune, Raigad Ratnagiri and Thane Tamil Nadu: Chennai, Salem, Tiruvallur Andhra Pradesh: East Godavari, Medak, Rangareddy, Vishakapatnam and West Godavari. Phase II Delhi: NCT Delhi Punjab: Ropar and Hoshiarpur. Haryana: Panipat Uttar Pradesh: Bulandshahr and Ghaziabad Rajasthan: Jaipur and Alwar Madhya Pradesh: Bhind and Dhar West Bengal: Kolkata & Howrah, 24 parganas North, 24 Parganas South, Burdwan, Hooghly Assam: Kamrup and Bongaigaon Karnataka: Bangalore, Mysore and Dakshin Kannada. Kerala: Ernakulam Phase III – Web Based GIS Gujarat: Ahmedabad, Bharuch, Kutchh, Surat, Vadodara and Valsad. Maharashtra: Mumbai, Nashik, Pune, Raigad Ratnagiri and Thane Phase IV – Web Based GIS Andhra Pradesh : Mahboobnagar, Nalgonda &Krishna Haryana : Gurgaon & Faridabad Punjab : SAS Nagar & Patiala Tamil Nadu : Kancheepuram, Cuddalore, & Tuticorin Uttarakhand : Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar Uttar Pradesh : Kanpur (Nagar & Dehat), Lucknow, Meerut, Jyotiba Phule Nagar The data part of the exercise broadly involved technical and spatial data collection from all the MAH industries, first responders and amenities in identified districts covering: Industry wise contact information and coordinates Industry wise chemical data covering all the chemicals including their storage and handling conditions required for simulation modeling Industry wise resource data covering all the resources such fire-fighting facilities, PPEs, Spill containment, etc. available with the industry for response to chemical emergencies Data on first responders and authorities including their resources for chemical emergency management, manpower and location Data on amenities as shelters during emergency and sensitive area considering effect on masses during emergency Data collection was followed by data compilation and preparation of database as per the software package requirement and marking locations on SOI topo sheets which now has been replaced by digital maps backed by satellite imageries. Digital maps preparation by scanning, geo-referencing and mosaicing topo-sheets and converting required datasets from raster to vector by digitizing and preparing separate layers. Computer simulation modeling for various failure modes for all the vulnerable chemicals to calculate damage distances under each accident scenario and format the final results to form part of the overall data base in the form of shape files. This has resulted in plume generation delineating vulnerable zones over GIS base maps for emergency planning and response. Software development with integrated databases; software testing and finalization including preparation of user manual. Presentation of the product before Expert Committee of MOEF and technical training of the end users. The desktop version of Phase I & II and the wed based GEPR of Phase III and an improved Web-GEPR of Phase IV have all been highly appreciated by MoEF&CC and stae/district administrations involved during the detailed training programs conducted at state level.

TOP

 

MAJOR PROJECTS COMPONENTS :

 

District Wise Database Identification and preparation of a list of all the MAH units with addresses in identified districts as per the definition given in Manufacture Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules. Specific information on each of the MAH units such as name, address, key/contact persons, phone numbers, nature of activity, manpower, chemicals used and their profile, process hazards, storage and process conditions required for simulation of failure scenarios, hazard envelope for toxic/ fire/ explosion scenario etc has been collected. Essentially all the relevant hazard data for each of the MAH unit has been collected. Also updated/collected information on critical resources required during time of emergency. Data necessary includes trained personnel data, data on fire fighting capability, Personnel Protection Equipment, transport and ambulance vehicles, antidotes stocks etc. Information on resources in the district with respect to fire brigades and their facilities in terms of fire tenders, PPE, manpower, ambulances, fire suits, etc; hospitals and nursing homes, burns units, ambulances, chemical poisoning treatment facilities, etc; police stations and chowkies, civil defense, existing emergency control centers and other resources available in the district Information on sensitive areas. These include human settlements, schools, old peoples homes, stadia etc. where there is a likelihood of presence of a large number of people who may require early warning to minimize the damage. Spatial data for all the locations in terms of MAH units, first responders and sensitive areas plus additional locations as advised by NICSI and required to update mapping. Chemical databank to include all the hazardous chemicals to cover general description, properties, fire and explosion hazards, health hazards, fire fighting measure and modes, non-fire response during spills, first aid measures and reactivity information for each chemical. Accident Scenario Simulation Modeling Chemical hazard data required for consequence modeling for catastrophic failure of the largest storage unit for each chemical have been collected. However, for simulation modeling of additional storage scenarios, process scenarios and domino effects, such data has been collected/ updated for all in each district. This typically involved quantities of hazardous chemicals in storage and process, temperature and pressure, storage and process unit sizes and configurations and other relevant details. Process Hazards are an important contributor to the overall hazard profile of an MAH unit and have been covered on a sample basis for MAH units located in Ankleshwar area of Bharuch district, Gujarat. Incidents in the “process” area of an MAH unit have the potential to cause injury/ fatality, as workers are often present near to the process equipment, typically reactors- in addition, operating conditions in the reactors are likely to be more severe than in the storage facility. As a result, necessary process hazard data also has been collected. Cascading or Domino Effects within an MAH Unit or between 2 MAH units in very close proximity is a possibility. Cascading or Domino Effects has been reviewed, for which detailed layouts were procured and geo referenced. Data necessary for domino effects analysis was collected from the MAH Unit during the site visit. The hazard zone or MCL based consequence analysis was performed for critical chemical storage and process hazards in the MAH unit. The modeling activity basically covered Fires (tank fires, jet fires, plume fires/ flash fires, pool fires etc.), Explosions (deflagrations and detonations) and Toxic gas releases. Hard Coded consequence analysis outputs are based on the MoEF&CC Micro Methodology for Hazard Analysis. Refer Project Assumptions for cut off values for fire, explosion and toxic vapour release scenarios. The modeling has been performed with modern and time-tested computer models specifically tailored to emergency management and accepted by the MoEF&CC. The hard coded calculations were performed for 2 different meteorological conditions as per MoEF&CC guidelines, namely D, 3 m/s combination and F, 1.5 m/s atmospheric combination. Output of modeling calculations has been suitably dovetailed into meeting MoEF&CC guidelines on micro-methodology. The computer model results are interactive or capable of superimposition onto the base maps to ensure that emergency management authorities can find the actual hazard zone under the identified atmospheric conditions. The Vulnerable Zone data has been mapped onto the base map both as a text in box and also graphically to allow visual display. Application Development and Product Deployment The Server Application Component for GEPR is now a web-based application component developed using industry-standard Web development environments. It allows the GEPR users spread across the internet, to view and query the spatial information. This component is an integral part of the GEPR system and users will access this component through the application developed for this purpose. Map services were created to access the spatial data. Simulation modeling software is embedded in the package to allow advanced users to run the customized failure scenarios and delineate the output on digitized base maps. Consultant has provided domain technical inputs through the design and development phase, including: Identification and Integration of modeling software to undertake simulation of customized failure scenarios with options on operating mechanism (user machine/server). Integration of chemical scenarios databases in the front end program (web based) and display of output as plumes. Identification of the areas for fine scale mapping – these will be generally industrial pockets/clusters with large number of MAH industries and surroundings Preparation of the user manual for the entire software covering Installation, drivers, system requirements, guided tours, critical help and tips options, system up gradation and updating requirements, security considerations and other pertinent details. Consultant will provide detailed technical inputs on data accessing, modeling, review and interpretation of the result during the preparation of the User Manual.

TOP

 

THE WAY FORWARD :

 

We believe that the product evolves by feedback. Necessity is the mother of invention and therefore we have reached this level through constant communication with the user and transporting their requirements through domain experts to the development team to bring about the desired changes. We strive to come-up with still better versions with various additional features and modules (some of which are under development) and more will be added based on your feedback and suggestions to make it better. For any feedback or suggestions please feel free to write to gahlout@nic.in, arpita@nic.in, gepr@nic.in or harsh@aceindia.net. Together we can minimize the loss potential of chemical accidents and save precious lives.

TOP