Glaring omission in master plan: no disaster management module

Glaring omission in master plan: no disaster management module

Bengaluru may be the world's most dynamic city, but it does not have even a basic disaster management module to handle a natural calamity or a terror attack.

In fact, the provisional Master Plan 2031, prepared by the Bangalore Development Authority, has no meaningful mention of disaster management, a key requirement in the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines.

Curiously enough, the master plan only says the 2005 disaster plan would be followed and has avoided any mention of NDMA guidelines, 2016.

Raghu B V, a master trainer in disaster management and incident response system at Delhi's National Institute of Disaster Management, said Bengaluru badly needs a plan since the government wants a vertical growth of the city into blocks, wards and zones.

Though the city has grown vertically, it has no wider approach roads to reach them in case of an emergency, Raghu pointed out. The high-rise buildings do not have vacant plots nearby to mount rescue operations.

"The provisional master plan does not address these points," he said.

A National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) official, who did not wish to be named, said the Namma Metro stations have no space for evacuation in case of a bomb scare or a terror attack.

Nearly 10,000 people gather in prominent malls and other buildings, but no plans have been made for emergency evacuation and congregation of people.

No fire safety is in place at the city's small-scale industries and storehouses. The official also said the master plan has failed to indicate where the fire stations would come up and has rather left it to the citizens to find out for themselves. Areas prone to disasters should have a hazard mapping and vulnerability assessment, the official added.

A senior BDA official in the town planning section said people can give their suggestions, which would be considered while drawing up the final master plan.

No concrete plan  

* Provisional master plan 2031 has cursory mention of following the 2005 disaster plan

* Experts say the city would face greater damage without a concrete plan

* Even Namma Metro, shopping malls have inadequate preparations for calamities

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