Palghar: Palghar Collector Abhijit Bhangar, while reviewing the emergency preparedness of the Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) in the district, has instructed the concerned officials to undertake road widening in the plant vicinity on a war-footing. During a meeting held yesterday, Bhangar was informed that some of the roads in the villages around the plant were too narrow and could be a disadvantage during rescue operations, in case of an emergency. Even ambulance and fire brigade vehicles could not move on the narrow roads, he was informed.
In the event of a radiation emergency, the narrow routes would hamper vehicular movement for the evacuation of the villagers, the Collector was told. Bhangar then instructed the officials to prepare a planned, budgeted proposal in a time-bound manner to resolve the issue.
He directed the concerned departments to organise gram sabhas in the villages around the plant and educate the residents on the measures to be taken during a crisis. The Collector also directed the TAPS officials to hold periodic meetings with the villagers and try to dispel their fears about disaster management. It may be recalled that a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) team had held a meeting at Thane Collectorate a few years back and discussed the issue in detail.
The then Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) RD Shinde had pointed out the problem of the narrow roads and related risks then. However, even after issuance of strict directions by a high-level committee to the district administration for work to be initiated on priority basis, and despite assurance of adequate funds, no action was taken.
The NDMA had taken up the issue of the lack of headway ever since, and it needs to be looked into seriously, Bhangar said.
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