Design of District Emergency Operations Centres, and the Case Study of Indian Oil Corporation Jaipur Depot Explosion Page: 222
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222 K Gupta
disasters. However, there is a paradigm shift from post-disaster relief to pre-disaster
prevention, preparedness and mitigation in recent times internationally, and particularly
in India. Therefore, the State Government of Rajasthan, in India, appointed the author of
this paper as a consultant to design an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at the district
level in February 2007. The consultant submitted his report in May 2007. The
recommendations in the consultant's report were accepted and district level EOCs are
established in all the 33 districts of Rajasthan.
This paper is intended to share the experiences and 'best practices' of the resulting
effort in design and implementation of EOCs under resource constrains. It is hoped that
the paper will benefit other countries and individual states or provinces within them that
are planning to establish EOCs.
The paper starts with the genesis of the idea of having district EOCs, and then
proceeds with situation analysis, sources of information, thesis, methods/process,
recommendations for setting up district EOCs and implementation. The IOC case study is
covered in the sections of lOC and its Jaipur depot, fire explosion and its causes, damage
due to fire explosion, response to the explosion and the role of the alternative field EOC.
The paper ends with discussion, limitations and conclusion.
2 Design of district EOCs
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of India was set up under the
Disaster Management Act of 2005. NDMA is the apex body for disaster management
headed by the Prime Minister and has the responsibility for laying down policies, plans
and guidelines for disaster management. To facilitate capacity building, training
community stakeholders, conducting research, documentation and a national repository
of information, the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) was created. The
NIDM, in partnership with other research institutions, works within the framework of
broad policies and guidelines laid down by the NDMA (Ministry of Home Affairs, n.d.).
There is a Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) in India for meeting the expenditure for
providing immediate relief to the victims of disasters. The Government of India
contributes 75% of the yearly allocation to CRF and the balance is met by the respective
state governments. A total of Rs. 110 billion (nearly US$ 2.2 billion) was provided for
the CRF for the five financial years from 2000-2001 to 2004-2005 (National Disaster
Management Division, 2003, p.72). It is not known how much was provided during the
same period for pre-disaster prevention, preparedness and mitigation, but it would almost
certainly have been miniscule, compared to post-disaster relief.
The Government of India was persuading the state governments to set up the EOCs
expeditiously as mandated in the Disaster Management Act of 2005 at various levels.
The Government of India eased the norms, allowing for procurement of essential search,
rescue and evacuation equipments including communication equipments subject to a
ceiling of 10% from the CRF allocation of the year (National Disaster Management
Division, 2003). The Government of Rajasthan seized this opportunity to establish the
district level EOCs and appointed the author as a consultant. The brief given to this
author was to prepare an actionable/implementable report on EOC design.
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Gupta, Kailash. Design of District Emergency Operations Centres, and the Case Study of Indian Oil Corporation Jaipur Depot Explosion, article, 2010; [Geneva, Switzerland]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31093/m1/2/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.