When terror came calling to city...

Disaster Management Authority holds mock drills at Palace, Chamundi Hill

When terror came calling to city...

It was Wednesday, 10.30 am. Tourists were entering the Palace through Varaha gate through the main entrance, when a raucous sound followed them.

Petrified some among them ran helter-skelter, while some lay scattered on the ground. Pat came Agni (a two-wheeler fire force) and the fire personnel swung into action spraying water. Five to six fire-tenders too came to the spot along with an ambulance. The fire fighters sprayed foam mixed water, while nurses began to shift the injured to the ambulance.

Earlier, there was a chemical bomb explosion at the Chamundi Hill, another popular tourist spot in the city. The ticket counter adjacent to the main entrance was the spot, where ‘terrorists’ spread gas triggering panic among people, who were seen slipping into concussion. Soon, the afore mentioned agencies swung into action, along with the dedicated team of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), New Delhi clearing the air from the poisonous gas.

The entire episode was however only a part of a mock exercise conducted by NDMA. Fire crackers were used to make it seem like bomb explosions, while firemen and trainees at Karnataka Police Academy (KPA) doubled up as the actors.

The operation to be was supervised by the Senior Specialist, NDMA, Brigadier, B K Khanna with second in command Hemanth Kumar, Regional Fire Officer Basavanna and Deputy Commissioner C Shikha.

Briefing the media at the office of police commissioner in the city, Khanna said that it had been intended to ascertain the response system, level of preparedness, and whether or not, the disaster management plan in existence was a workable one.

Improvising methods

Khanna said that though there were some gaping holes, the Authority always believed in improvising methods to tackle terrorist attacks. For example - rushing in ambulances was not advised, as it would lead to further casualties. At the time of an explosion, people should always run in the opposite direction (of the centre of activity) and look for water bodies, termed as a solvent.

Khanna said that the Authority has to its credit 10 mock drills in the State with Mysore being the latest city covered according to the annual calendar of events.

NDMA has covered both Bangalore  Urban and Rural, Mangalore, Bellary, Karwar among other cities in the State. Another round of mock drill is planned in Bangalore on August 2 and 3.

NDMA has 10 battalions (18 teams of 45 men in each) across the country, with two stationed at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, covering both Andhra and Karnataka States.

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