Glaring omission in master plan: no disaster management module

Citizens don't have protection from man made catastrophes

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 man-made catastrophes.

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

Curiously enough, the master plan only says the 2005 disaster plan should be followed while applying for a No Objection Certificate. It has avoided any mention of the 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. Areas housing high-rise buildings do not have vacant plots nearby to mount rescue operations.

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

Vulnerable spots  

A National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) official, who did not wish to be named, said there is no sufficient space even around the Metro stations for evacuation in case of a bomb scare or a terror attack. Same is the case with malls in residential areas.

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

There is no mention of fire safety around the city's small-scale industries and storehouses. The official said that the master plan has also failed to indicate where the fire stations would come up. Areas prone to disasters should have a hazard mapping and vulnerability assessment, he said.

Thippeswamy N K, town planner, BDA, said the BBMP should make decisions with regard to mitigating fire and man-made tragedies.

The master plan mentions that those seeking permission for construction should follow norms as defined by the NDMA.  

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