At the time of any disaster or a mishap, coordination between different agencies working on the relief and rescue operation is crucial. Lack of which can cause hindrance in saving lives during the golden hours, and that was noted in the fatal Kamala Mills fire mishap of 2017, said an official.
The BMC has now decided to overcome this shortcoming by setting up ‘disaster management control rooms’ at hospitals, initially at 13 of them, including four run by the civic body. The process is underway to make the architectural plan of the control room. A civic official, requesting anonymity, said in the 2017 Kamala Mills fire, there was a lack of coordination between the agencies regarding relief work.
But the BMC has taken lessons from such incidents, he said, adding, “The control rooms will function under the Disaster Management department of the BMC. During mishaps, like fires, building collapse, landslides and major road accidents, the fire brigade, police and the nearest hospital have to get ready for rescue and treatment. During this [initial] period, mutual coordination is crucial, so that necessary arrangements for beds and manpower can be made within the stipulated time.”
Director of the BMC’s Disaster Management Cell Mahesh Narvekar said, “There has to be a proper communication between the agencies. At present, during emergencies, deans or superintendent are busy gathering information and handling situations, for which they have to run from one department to another. But the control room would help the fire brigade and police inform the hospital to make necessary arrangements. The hospital authority has to be present in the control room and ask the staff to make all the necessary arrangements and mobilise manpower to tackle emergencies. The dean/superintendent has to monitor it directly from the control room.”
“All the CCTV cameras installed in the hospital will be connected to this control room. It will help monitor the operations at the hospital. All the information will be sent to the control room. Even other agencies, like the fire brigade and police, can coordinate with the control room and the information will be shared. The officer or dean at the control room will be able to directly contact the main control room through the hotline. Apart from this, the day-to-day activities in the hospital can also be monitored. Even the BMC’s disaster cell at the headquarters will get accurate information in a short duration,” Narvekar added.
The control rooms
BMC has proposed to build a control room at KEM, Nair, Sion, Cooper, Bandra Bhabha, Kurla Bhabha, VN Desai, Kandivli Shatabdi, Rajawadi, Mulund Agarwal, Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma, Bhagwati and Govandi Shatabdi hospitals. The Disaster Management department has a plan to build the control room adjacent to the dean’s office, as per the space available.
Once the hospitals get the disaster control room, they can establish connection with the BMC’s main control room at the headquarters. Among the 13 hospitals, five—BMC-run Sion, Nair, KEM, Rajawadi, and JJ hospitals—are connected with the hotline.
More CCTV cameras
The BMC, in the 2022-23 budget, announced the installation of more CCTV cameras in the suburban hospitals including KEM, Nair, Sion, and Cooper hospitals. The Disaster Management department said work is underway to install the CCTV cameras in select hospitals along with control rooms. For this, a provision of R15 crore has been made in the budget. Mid-Day