New quick response unit near KIA soon

If a chemical or biomedical disaster breaks out at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), it will take the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) six hours to reach the airport from its nearest base in Guntur, 600 km away.

To address this alarming safety lacuna, the Union Home Ministry has proposed to set up a Regional Response Centre (RRC) at Yelahanka “very soon”. Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju said in the Lok Sabha that the Ministry has approved the RRC for “immediate response”.

The NDRF has already acquired two acres of land in Venkatala village near Yelahanka in Bengaluru North taluk, the minister announced in reply to a query by Bengaluru Central MP, P C Mohan. The RRC will cost Rs 6.49 crore.

The funds, the minister informed, have already been made available and released to the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). The RRC is expected to have a force of over 1,000 personnel trained in quick disaster response. The force could reach the airport within 30 to 40 minutes.

In the absence of an NDRF quick response team, Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) had to ink a mutual agreement with the Indian Air Force (IAF). The IAF’s Yelahanka Station has a well-equipped disaster response system of its own.

KIA is India’s third busiest airport with over 25 million passengers per annum.

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New quick response unit near KIA soon

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