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End Course Project – Babrala Town

Name: Amit Tuteja


Participant : Group A

1) Introduction: I belong to a small town Babrala, which comes under the Distt. Badaun ( UP-West).
This town is mainly famous for Tata Chemicals Ltd. (TCL) Fertilizer plant. It’s around 160 kms away
from Delhi. My community mainly covers TCL Township, Babrala town and around 30 villages under
the periphery of 5 kms. For detailed clarity & more info, pl. see map below & Table attached.

Background Information
Location - Babrala, Distt Badaun (U.P.)
Latitude - 28.27 N,
Delhi
Longitude – 78.4 E,
Altitude (mtr) – 176,
Babrala
Population – 56,657
M/F Ratio – 53:47
Literacy Rate – 53%
Area – 71.72 sq. kms
Language – Hindi
Occupation – Agri-farming
(Source- Distt. Statistical Data Book, 2006)

Map Table

In this small town Babrala, at one end, there is a huge possibility of leakage from the Tata Chemicals
Fertilizer plant. This plant deals with gases like Ammonia, Chlorine & fuel as Naphtha as well, while
making Urea. The plant site area, adjacent township & nearby 10 villages of surrounding 3 km radius
come under the most vulnerable zone of this belt. There are 2 primary schools, one inter college and 2
hospitals also lie in this vulnerable zone.
On the other side of Babrala, river Ganga flows at a distance of 2 kms. And there are aprx. 7 villages
in this belt, which may severely get affected. There is a connecting rail & road bridge,and a small get
together hall, which are also vulnerable.

In addition to the above 2 hazards, this complete area comes under Zone – IV ( prone to Earthquake)
and this zone also lies under high wind velocity probability. Hence I can say that this zone is multiple
hazard zone and especially the surrounding village communities are more vulnerable. And there are
reasons to it, like their homes are not safe from design angle, and these people are neither educated
enough, nor adequately trained, as actually they should be from the disaster resilience point of view.

General Vulnerability: - In short, following are few natural hazards that Babrala town, Distt Badaun
is vulnerable to: -
a) Earthquake:- Since the region is located in an earthquake prone area ( Zone IV), it is quite
likely that an earthquake can occur at any point of time, which may result into a wide scale
destruction.
b) Flood:- This area also covers the river Ganga, hence there is a huge possibility of flood.
Although it’s probability is less, but the impact would be devastating. As the flood can
completely submerge the villages, road, rail network, buildings etc.
c) Forest Fire:- The land of this particular zone is known for Agriculture and forest. And this
area is also famous for dryness. Hence there are chances of forest fire. During the summer
season, there is possibility of sudden firebreak, which may damage the crops as well.
d) Windstorm: - This area is covered under High Wind Velocity Zone. Where it’s a huge
probability of windstorm. In the year 2005, we faced the same here at Babrala, Badaun.
e) Drought:- The surrounding community of this distt. is also vulnerable to the Drought as well.
Although probability is less, but it has occurred last year due to scanty rainfall here.

Physical vulnerability:- If we look at from physical vulnerability point of view, scene is not good at
all. For Ex, in general the sewage condition, housing & streets are not upto the mark. Although in the
TCL Township, it’s a different story. But this township is a very small part of entire town/ area/ zone.
There is a huge scope left for the local Govt. & Non Govt. urban planning organizations

Socio-Economic Structure: Although Babrala block is a small area, but it represents all kind of
gentry. It covers not only farmers, labour, unemployed youth but also covers the Doctors, Engineers,
Businessmen & Politicians as well. All in all, it’s a mix blend, however overall quantity wise lower
middle class dominates the segment. Babrala carries Nagar Panchayat status and follows the process.
Main occupation in this fertile belt is Agri-farming. And apart from it, most of the villagers also have
their own livestock. From population, density and hygiene point of view, there is a huge scope for the
improvement, as in existing scenario, social & charitable organizations are not taking much interest.

2) Current Disaster Management System: Babrala town is covered under the Gunnour Block of
Distt. Disaster Mgt. Plan of Badaun (U.P.). As per the recent developments in last few years, here
rigour has come from the Govt’s end. Other than this, organizations like UNDP, NYKS, Tata
Chemicals & local NGOs also came forward in partnership/ pooling to address and participate in the
Disaster Mitigation related activities.
The overall Distt.DM Plan is being looked after by Distt. Magistrate (DM). Further at the Block level,
it is being handled by SDM (Sub Distt. Magistrate).The Executive Officer,Nagar Panchayat Chairman,
BDO & members of water, electricity, health, fire, transport, telecom, supplies deptts. support SDM
through their respective functions. Their individual and overall functional responsibilities have been
clearly defined in DM plan.
Further at the Gram Panchayat and Village level, structure is well in place along with the specific
responsibilities. Although implementation/ institutionalization of activities at village level is presently
going on. Total, 9 specific groups have been formed with 5 members in each group. These members
are being trained in specific work like Evacuation, Search & rescue, First-Aid/Medical, Psychological
care, Relief & rehabilitation etc. In villages, there are 15 members Gram Pradhan Committees in place,
which exclusively look after overall work.

In a generalized way, the whole Disaster Management. related actions have been segregated into 3
main parts, Before, During & After Disasters, for the purpose of easy understanding & more clarity.

Actions taken before disaster: At this stage the Govt & UNDP both have identified 13 most
vulnerable distts. of entire state. Badaun is one of them from hazard point of view. Distt.Admin.is
arranging no.of awareness programs at various places, with the help of UNDP. They are arranging
specialized training sessions for masons (related to earthquake), for villagers (related to fire, flood
etc). NYKS and few NGOs are also assisting the Govt.in specialized programs for the volunteers.
Organizations like Tata Chemicals, Narora Atomic Power Station, are also coming forward and
conducting programs for workers, township residents & surrounding community. Apart from it,
Distt.Drought Mgmt. Plans have also been prepared by DMs, as per instructions of State Govt.

Actions taken during disaster: To handle this situation, admin.has conducted mockdrills at different
locations to check the effectiveness of DM trainings. For Ex:- On 26th Apr’06 Distt.Admin. conducted mock
drill at Babrala near TCL. On 21st Sept’06 the Earthquake mock drill was conducted in TCDAV School &
nearby educational centers as well.On the 20th Dec’06,Fire drill conducted in TCL and training given to
village volunteers by UNDP & TCL. With the help of these drills, grey areas identified, desired resource also
reviewed. And it was decided to remove the system bottlenecks. Further on 6th June’07 the UP State Relief
Commissioner also directed DMs to activate the 1077 toll free Tel.lines as soon as possible, so that people
could contact the nodal officer & inform him about such disasters.
Actions taken after disaster: To cater this situation, the local admin.has tied up with the agencies like
Red Cross, St. John’s, Care India, Helpage India etc. They agencies provide prompt help, immediate
relief through their MMUs (Mobile Medicare Units, Ambulances). Apart from it, organizations like
TCL, NAPS, IFFCO etc.have also come forward to help the community, whenever & wherever
needed (whether in terms of medical treatment or psychological support or in terms of monetary help
etc). And in the recent development, to tackle the flood situations in the areas located near rivers &
low-lying areas, Distt Disaster Centers have been prepared to organize the rescue & relief operations
for flood as well.

In the above actions, we have mentioned about the response, recovery, preparedness and mitigation
measures. Further the periodic trainings are being provided to TCL Employees, residents & villagers
of surroundings, on a rotation basis.
In a nutshell, i would say that in the Babrala town, to protect people & assets, the preparation is good.

3) Analysis of Disaster event: By God’s grace, in this particular zone, no disaster has occurred in last
10 years. Although a mild Earthquake was felt on 8th Oct’ 05, and couple of years before , an incident
of Ammonia gas leakage from Tata Chemicals plant was recorded, but the things were under control
immediately. As Fire & Safety Deptt. took prompt actions with plant Engineers. There was no damage
done during both occasions, infect these two events helped in other way round in terms of preparation
check (very similar to emergency drill).
Yes, if we look back 12 years back, there was a major flood disaster occurred. In 1996, it severely hit
Babrala & surroundings. At that time, a total of 4857 human beings (of 1159 families) were affected.
The total casualties were 15, out of 6 men drowned due to deadly flood, and 9 ladies & children also
couldn’t survive this catastrophe. The impact of flood was clearly visible on all kind of age groups.
The farmer community suffered huge tangible & intangible losses.It lead to poverty & unemployment.

The ACTUAL line of action to reduce that exposure to disaster, is described below:-
¾ Community participation: No doubt, the stakeholders proved that united we stand, at the time,
when it is needed most.Almost all the agencies came forward to help & assist at this crucial time,
in whatever possible way.The response was very positive from residents, villagers,Govt & NGOs
¾ Public policy actions: After the immediate relief & rescue, this was the another important aspect.
But the fact is that, at that time, no specific public policy actions were defined or visible as such.
¾ Safer construction & urban development: At that particular time,the signs of safer construction
were hardly visible. Apart from TCL made few constructions,other constructions damaged in bulk.
Although now UNDP, NYKS, State Govt. and Tata’s Community Development Cell have come
forward to train the masons, villagers, engineers, designers, helpers etc to strengthen safe design.
¾ Development of a culture of prevention: This particular disaster sowed the seeds of a secure &
safe culture of prevention amongst all stakeholders. As all suffered a lot in the end, in either way.
But I have nothing to hide, in saying that at that particular time, the culture was more of response
kind rather than prevention.
Strength:- Community is very united here in all seasons. Representatives from all communities have
come forward to help each other as and when required. They have proved the same, at times, when it
needed most. Apart from this, here in this area, land is very fertile. Hence farming is a big source of
livelihood here. In addition to it, farmers are quite familiar of some conventional kind of preventive
methods, which help at times.
Weakness:- Here main scarcity is of very basic infrastructure like connectivity, education, housing,
employment etc. Resources exist a bit, but are far behind to match up demand. Development & growth
desperately needs rigour. In this environment, it’s very challenging to train villagers on issues like how
to deal with disasters, because they are currently struggling for their livelihood.

4) Observations & Recommendations:

Following are few Observations or I would say the Grey areas, needed to be looked into asap, apart
from the work done and initiatives taken up by Govt, NGOs, Corporate, residents & villagers etc: -
1) First and foremost, safety of lives (especially the vulnerable ones)
2) Safety & security of livestock, and physical assets
3) To improve the coping capacity of community
4) Well trained DM experts, who can come at rescue
5) Fully equipped Emergency Operations Centers
6) Advance and effective communication network
7) Sound early warning mechanism and evacuation plan
8) Emergency shelter homes, especially for poor & vulnerable.
9) Well coordinated R&R efforts, adequate support from Govt & NGOs
10) Block level & Village level Disaster Mgt. plan is the need of the hour, as the Distt. Disaster
Mgt Plan is a macro level umbrella, where it’s difficult to get micro details.

Recommendations:
First and foremost thing is spread awareness, which can be done through sensitization programmes at
village level, Babrala town, Tata Chemicals Township & surroundings.

After the awareness, next stage is Capacity Building, which is also equally important. Without this,
we can’t prevent or mitigate the risks. To enhance the capacity, nowadays there are specific training
modules, made for different communities. Apart from this, the workshops can also be planned for
specific people like for Raj mistry, Fireman, First aid trainer etc.

To carry out the programmes, workshops, training etc. involvement of Distt. Admin, NGOs, RWAs is
must. Without their involvement nothing can be done. With their support and guidance through the
expertise via programmes, training camps at least the basic Do’s & Don’ts can be explained down the
line. Further the standards & statutory codes also to be rigorously followed. Periodic mock drills in
prominent places and remote areas also to be conducted, which will help in identifying gaps.

Apart from the above basic recommendations i would like to further suggest to this query in two parts,
firstly what can I do at my level (in my individual capacity) & secondly I would suggest, what can be
done at Distt. level to reduce impact from future disasters. I’ll start with the individual capacity first:-
1) Before Disaster/On-going: By arranging and participating in Community Based DM Programs in
the surroundings with the help of Distt.Admin, NYKS, UNDP Teams, NGOs. (I have already arranged
several programs with all the above agencies in and around TCL Township, schools and villages).
2) During Disaster/ Just After: With the cool head communicate to concerned for the needful,
provide first aid, offer prompt services for Search & Rescue operations. And to better handle this
situation, periodic drills to be conducted (can also assist Distt.Admin).
3) Post Disaster: Volunteering the Relief & Rehabilitation activities, strengthening the Civil Defense,
Psychological care to face the trauma, Donate something with the human touch, in parallel keep
educating people about Disaster Mitigation in a layman’s language.
4) Further, can join NGOs, CBOs etc or can lead RWA from the front, and can show the direction to
others. These micro challenges can definitely contribute to the community.

Apart from the above, following recommendations are related to reducing impact of future disasters in
our territory:-
1. Off site emergency mock drill should be conducted annually in each distt. In my view it's a mirror,
which shows true picture, and help us in checking the preparations of all key functions. Emergency
Operations Center (EOC) to be set up at distt level.
2. Legal framework should be further strengthened, especially the Distt.Disaster Mgmt. Authorities
should be more empowered.
3. To sensitize the community, more no.of awareness programmes, training camps to be organized via
Distt. Administration and NGOs. Atleast basic Do's & Don'ts should be explained and promoted
through boards, hoardings etc.
4. To bring the uniformity in building and construction, BIS codes and standards to be rigorously
followed.
5. Distt. Administration should be well trained to utilize the GIS based database, during emergency.
This will definitely help a lot in the movement towards safe shelter place.
6. Apart from schools, Disaster Mgmt. also to be included in curriculum of Vocational Training
Centers, Technical Institutes etc.
7. Hospital emergency services, Trauma centers to be well equipped with all necessary equipments,
with the trained manpower.
8. Fire services to be well equipped at all the hazard units, and as far as possible to be located within
the distance of max.10 minutes of reach to the site.
9. Further, in floods case, Buenos Aires and in Earthquake’s case Istanbul learnings can be referred.

While making the Disaster Risk Management Plan, there are no.of points to be looked into it, like
the approach , which should shift from Response Mgt. to Risk Mgt. Here it requires Govt support to
shift it’s DM Model from post disaster reactive action to pro active engagement to prevent disasters
from taking place in the first place.
Further Risk Assessment should be very detailed and should encompass all risk components like
buildings, Health Care facilities, Transportation systems, Utilities, Social & economic losses etc.

No program will succeed without mechanisms for sustainability. It requires long term planning,
enhanced capacity and community resources.

Here the most important thing is the involvement of community. If community is aware of the facts
and willing to come forward, then half of the problem is solved. Or otherwise the role of communities
to be realized to them,and further to train them in order to make more resilient to face the disaster.
Here again I would say, the role of Administration and local NGOs will be very important along with
RWAs & CBOs. These communities & societies should arrange the DM programmes on voluntary
basis,including Schools & Hospitals etc. The neighbouring communities or outsiders can extend the
help, whenever it’s required by us. In the end, final call is in the hands of our own community,about
how to go ahead now. Hence the rigour should come from self/ within. In that case not only demand
can turn into supply, but also the liability can be converted into assets.