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For a safer Delhi,risk atlas in the offing

To make Delhi one of the safest cities,the Delhi Disaster Management Authority is preparing a Risk Atlas for the Capital to assess how vulnerable it is to disasters.

Written by Mandakini Gahlot | New Delhi | Published: February 18, 2009 2:59 am

To make Delhi one of the safest cities,the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) is preparing a Risk Atlas for the Capital to assess how vulnerable it is to disasters. The atlas will highlight risk areas and guidelines on how to mitigate the risks.

“One of the biggest natural risks in Delhi is earthquake,so seismic studies and microzonation will be an important part of the atlas,” Vinay Kumar,joint secretary,DDMA,said. “Besides,Delhi is also vulnerable to chemical,biological and nuclear attacks,so those will also be covered with other terrorist threats.”

Despite the time constraint,the atlas will also seek to map the risks to the Commonwealth Games projects.

After the DDMA invited an Expressions of Interest for the project,various consultants have come forward. “We have received replies from PricewaterhouseCoopers,IIT Roorkee,Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre and Taru Leading Edge Consultants,” a senior DDMA official said.

Among them,ADPC and Taru are said to be leaders in the field of risk management. Taru prepared the Gujarat Risk Atlas in 2006 and ADPC assisted some Asian countries in formulating a national disaster management policy. “We are a little confused about PWC,but of course the final selection decision rests with the Project Sanction and Approval Committee of the DDMA,” the official said.

The committee,headed by the Divisional Commissioner,is expected to announce its decision within two months. Thereafter,a 22-month deadline will be set to complete the project.

“We need to ensure that the building agencies are given enough time to measure the risks to the Games projects. But it is unclear if they will have enough time to look into all aspects,” a senior DDMA official said on condition of anonymity.

For the atlas,Kumar said,“We have suggested that the consultants adopt a four-step process to conduct risk assessment. This includes identifying hazards,profiling hazards,inventory of assets and estimating losses. We want the atlas to be prepared keeping the best national or international risk management practices in mind.”

The DDMA has recommended all agencies to have various experts on board — seismologist,civil engineering expert,flood hazard expert,urban planning expert,fire hazard expert,emergency response expert and a geographical information system expert.

The atlas will examine probable risks for a 100-year period. The field work for the project is expected to be completed in 18 months,with an additional four months for analysis and digitalisation of the data.

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