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Risk atlas prepared in Gujarat, India

After setting on the job with the objective of enabling the process of reducing risk in all types of hazards and transforming Gujarat, India into one of the lowest risk states in terms of disaster and after 18 months of comprehensive technical exercise, the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) has come out with a Composite Risk Atlas to help various departments concerned in disaster mitigation planning in the areas most vulnerable to natural and man-made hazards in the State.

The GSDMA had engaged Taru Leading Edge Consultants, a Delhi-based firm with expertise in data collection for disaster mitigation planning, to prepare the atlas, a copy of which was released by Chief Minister Narendra Modi recently in the presence of Chief Secretary Sudhir Mankad and secretaries of various departments concerned. Praising the efforts of GSDMA for taking out such a unique and composite atlas, Modi said that it can be used for reducing disaster risk and also for activities related to future development. Derived from one of the largest and most detailed digital GIS databases prepared in India, the atlas covers all the 226 talukas and 25 districts of the State, six natural and mad-made hazards, and also the physical, social and economic vulnerablity of its people and their assets at taluka-level. The hazards that have been examined in detail using advanced computer-aided GIS models, probabilistic analysis and field studies include earthquake, cyclone, storm surge, flood, chemical accidents (between 25 and 200-year return period) and drought.

The most vulnerable talukas, possible areas of highest loss of human life, population concentrations, crops, buildings and lifeline insfrastructure have been identified in the atlas in a descending order of risk so as to enable planning, intervention and investments in a prioritised and phased manner, making effective use of scarce resources. Mainly for the use of Government and related agencies, the Atlas will help various government departments/agencies to chalk out disaster mitigation plans, and the GSDMA will play a nodal role in getting this done. The GSDMA will also conduct intensive training programmes for department employees about the interpretation and use of the atlas.