CBRN pre­pared­ness in Par­lia­ment zone


Keep­ing in view, chem­i­cal, bi­o­log­i­cal, ra­di­o­log­i­cal, nu­clear (CBRN) safety and se­cu­rity of Par­lia­ment House Com­plex (PHC), the Na­tional Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Author­ity (NDMA) un­der the lead­er­ship of M. Shashidhar Reddy, Vice Chair­man, NDMA has started CBRN train­ing pro­grammes of Par­lia­ment se­cu­rity per­son­nel. Eight train­ing cour­ses have been con­ducted so far.

In his open­ing re­marks dur­ing the 8th train­ing pro­gramme, Ma­jor Gen­eral (Dr) J.K. Bansal, VSM, Chik­itsa Ratan (Retd), Mem­ber, NDMA em­pha­sised on con­stant mon­i­tor­ing for CBRN haz­ardous agents in­side as well as out­side the PHC. Due to strict se­cu­rity mea­sures it may be dif­fi­cult to take any CBRN agents in­side the com­plex, how­ever re­lease of CBRN agents out­side in the vicin­ity of PHC may be at­tempted, which may en­ter PHC as a plume. Pos­si­bil­ity of water con­tam­i­na­tion by haz­ardous ma­te­rial is also there. Bi­o­log­i­cal agents like An­thrax can be dis­sem­i­nated by fire ex­tin­guisher or through air han­dling unit of high vac­uum, air-con­di­tion­ing sys­tem.

Ma­jor Gen­eral Bansal in­formed that CBRN sce­nario may arise due to un­safe dis­posal of nu­clear ma­te­rial as it hap­pened in 2010 in Maya­puri where eight per­sons were hos­pi­talised due to ra­di­a­tion in­juries caused by cobalt 60. Re­cently there was a nu­clear ac­ci­dent in Fukushima, Ja­pan, which caused wide- spread ra­di­a­tion con­tam­i­na­tion in the sur­round­ing area and needed spe­cialised equip­ment and trained per­son­nel to han­dle nu­clear emer­gen­cies.

NDMA also sent CBRN trained Na­tional Dis­as­ter Re­sponse Force (NDRF) team to Ja­pan. NDRF work was ap­pre­ci­ated by the Prime Min­is­ter of Ja­pan. In 2009, Swine Flu (H1N1) pan­demic, In­dia was also af­fected. Chlo­rine gas was leaked at Mum­bai port in 2010.

Ma­jor Gen­eral Bansal also high­lighted the im­por­tance of use of pro­tec­tive cloth­ings face mask, gloves and boots while han­dling a CBRN even­tu­al­ity. Any ex­tra sec­ond con­tact of haz­ardous ma­te­rial with body is detri­men­tal and must be re­moved from body as early as pos­si­ble by de­con­tam­i­na­tion, he em­pha­sised.

He also stressed about prompt treat­ment of CBRN in­juries in­clud­ing spe­cialised in­ves­ti­ga­tions like ra­dio bio­dosime­try, use of decor­po­ra­tion drugs for ra­di­a­tion and an­ti­dotes for haz­ardous chem­i­cals.

About 60 Par­lia­ment se­cu­rity per­son­nel at­tended the train­ing pro­gramme. A mock drill was con­ducted by NDRF bat­tal­ion where a sce­nario of chem­i­cal ter­ror­ism was sim­u­lated and re­sponse of dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers was demon­strated. Along with ini­tial train­ing, re­fresher cour­ses will also be con­ducted so that all se­cu­rity per­son­nel re­main ready to re­spond promptly in case of CBRN even­tu­al­ity.

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