The accident prevention, preparedness and mitigation has always been an area of grave
concern to one and all and to work on these lines the Ministry of Environment &
Forests (MoEF), Govt. of India (GoI) has set up a Central Crisis Group Alert System with a
Central Crisis Group positioned at New Delhi. On the same lines the GoI sanctioned for the
setting up of Emergency Response Centre (ERC) in four States, viz. One each at Thane
Belarpur (M.S.) Manali (T.N.), Vadodara (Gujarat) and Bhopal (M.P.) and these are in
operation since 1993.
These centres were set up on a mutual cost sharing (equity participation) basis with
40%from the Central Government, 40% from the State and 20% from the beneficiary units in
the beginning and later to be run by the State Govt. and the Industries. In Madhya Pradesh
the Centre has been set up at Bhopal and the M.P. Pollution Control Board has been
entrusted with the responsibilities to look after its objectives to fulfill the aims. The
E.R.C. in the State is successfully operating with the active participation of industrial
units and keen interest shown by them.
Basic Elements of ERC
(i)Incident Reporting : It includes awareness programmes through
education of members of the public, drivers of the vehicles and the mobile police force so
that there is smooth information flow to the E.R.C.
(ii)Information Search : The ERC with its computer facilities an advanced
features would be able to quickly retrieve information relevant to the accident and make
it quickly available to the authorities. There is also provision of a library, with
relevant books, to search the information manually.
(iii)Field Assistance : Under this an emergency response van containing
equipment and personnel would be available round the clock which could penetrate the
contaminated area, maintain link and information flow and provide information regarding
The Centre, though providing all expertise, will not get directly involved in the physical
tackling of an emergency.