Days before blasts, report put JM Road in terror risk list

Aug 08, 2012, 08:03 IST | Sukirt D. Gumaste

Citing large number of edu institutions, offices, youth hangouts, elite hotels and restaurants in Ghole Rd civic ward, report submitted by Disaster Management Cell of PMC last month stated JM Rd and vicinity at maximum risk of terror attack.

A few days before the serial blasts in the city on August 1, the Disaster Management Cell of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had warned in a report that there was a big terrorism threat in the Ghole Road civic ward, which includes Deccan and JM Road areas. The report had also suggested some guidelines to avoid a terror attack.

As a response to the German Bakery blast of 2010, the Disaster Management Cell prepared the ‘Integrated Ward Level Disaster Management Plan 2012’ for the first time in the city.  Submitted last month, the report identified hazards, vulnerabilities, capacities and deduced the risks as they exist currently for each ward in the city. It gave the overall risk status of the city.

Picking up the pieces: A police personnel at work on JM Road on the day of the blasts on August 1. File Pic

On the risk faced by the Ghole Road ward and its vulnerability, the report specified that the threat of terrorism in the jurisdiction of the ward office was high because the areas falling under it were considered elite parts of the city.

Traffic density in the ward is increasing fast because it houses many educational institutions, corporate offices, elite hotels and restaurants and places for students and young people to entertain themselves.  The report said that in case of a bomb explosion, there was a possibility of 40 to 50 persons getting killed and even more getting injured.  It warned that a more severe threat was from deliberate water contamination of ESRs. It said that in such a case, a few thousand people were likely to be afflicted.

Too late: Authorities at the site of one of the four low-intensity blasts on JM Road on August 1 . Pic/AFP

“After collecting all the information, we have analysed possibilities of natural or man made disasters in each ward,” Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Special) Praveen Ashtikar said. “Out of the 14 wards of the city, three wards face threat of terrorist attack. These are Ghole Road, Tilak Road and Dhole Patil Road wards. We have suggested guidelines or measures which should be implemented by collective efforts.”

The report suggests the creation of command, control and communication set-ups for ease of operations. It seeks the setting up of inter-departmental and inter-jurisdictional tie-ups so that each functionary knows the impact of the actions of others and all are together able to resolve any situation.

“This report aims at integrating the plans of all the wards, dovetailing with the overall analyses and plans at the PMC level to achieve disaster resilience in terms of prevention and mitigation, greater degree of preparedness and working out possible response to keep the losses and destruction at the minimum,” Ashtikar said. “Total synergy between the district administration and the PMC would help achieve the objectives. We are ready to cooperate with the police regarding the execution of the guidelines.” 

CCTV: PMC panel okays Rs 7.50 crore
The PMC is to be one of the contributors to the Rs 30 crore funds announced by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar for setting up a CCTV camera network in the city, and the Standing Committee yesterday took a decision to release Rs 7.50 crore for the purpose. “To begin with, we are providing the existing infrastructure of our own Intelligent Traffic System control room at Swargate. The initial work for establishing linkage for the control room has already started. If required, the police can opt for another place for a bigger control room for monitoring 1,000 cameras. We are ready to provide a place for the bigger control room,” civic chief Mahesh Pathak said. 

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