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Not all disease outbreaks, chemical accidents reported: CAG

CAG found that not all disease outbreaks and chemical accidents taking place in different parts of the country are reported to Central authorities.

New Delhi: Government auditor CAG has found that not all disease outbreaks and chemical accidents taking place in different parts of the country are reported to Central authorities which could affect the response to epidemics.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its performance audit on disaster preparedness in India said Central Surveillance Unit (CSU) receives disease outbreak reports from the States and Union Territories on weekly basis and many of them do not send report on outbreaks to CSU regularly.

"Reporting from five states and UTs was below 50 per cent during 2012. Further, reporting from another seven states and UTs was between 50 and 79 per cent during 2012. Seven districts in the country had never reported data for Integrated Disease Surveillance Project till July 2012," it said.

The CAG said there were only 12 chemical accidents reported since 2009 to the Chemical Accident Information and Reporting System (CAIRS).

"The authorities were, however, not reporting all the chemical accidents regularly as even chemical accidents reported in the national Chemical Disaster Database published by the Ministry of Environment and Forests were not reported in CAIRS," it said.

Reviewing the performance of the NDRF, a specialised force with the capability to deal with all types of natural and man-made disasters, the CAG said the force required skill intensive, operation oriented training with demonstration and hands-on contents to effectively respond to disaster situations.

"There were constraints in providing specialised training to NDRF personnel... Three out of 10 battalions located at Kolkata, Cuttack and Gandhinagar were sharing accommodation with other Central Armed Police Forces and even temporary infrastructure for office, residential and storage accommodation could not be established for them," it said.

The auditor said the NDRF battalions were deployed even for election duties till 2009-11.

Referring to April 2010 radiation incident in Delhi`s Mayapuri, the CAG noted that the accident was the result of ignorance about practices for safe disposal of radioactive waste.

On emergency plans for radiation facilities, the auditor said the codes for emergency preparedness plans for Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) and nuclear fuel cycle facilities of Department of Atomic Energy had been framed and issued.

"However, no specific codes on emergency preparedness plans for other types of radiation facilities such as industrial radiography, radiotherapy and gamma chambers etc. had been brought out even though the hazard potential of these were rated as high," the report said.


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