To coordinate disaster relief and rescue operations in connection with the Sabarimala pilgrimage, the authorities are opening an Emergency Operation Center (EOC) at Nilakkal.
Revenue Minister K. Rajan is slated to inaugurate the facility, being established by the District Disaster Management Authority with technical support from the State Disaster Management Authority, here on Monday. District Collector Divya S. Iyer, chairperson of the Pathanamthitta District Disaster Management Authority, will coordinate functioning of the EOC.
The centre, according to officials, will be tasked to collate information from time to time and communicate it to the officials concerned after due verification to avoid any misinformation campaign, which may lead to stampede-like situations. The core purpose of the EOC is to enable decision-making by coordinating all departments concerning the administration of Sabarimala in case of emergencies.
The centre will function by networking with the control rooms at Pampa, Nilakkal, Sannidhanam, Pathanamthitta Collectorate, and the State Control Room in Thiruvananthapuram. Hotline systems have been established to avoid the delays involved in connecting with the control rooms.
The centre will provide information on the flow of people on an hourly basis, which also include the number of people coming and going to Sabarimala and staying at the Sannidhanam every hour. Based on the volume of crowd, the department heads will be given three levels of alerts.
In the event of an emergency, a call from one center will reach all the other stations at the same time. Information on the crowd will be entered into a database at the Pampa EOC, which will be codified and recorded in the form of graphs to help understand different situations.
A resource inventory containing phone numbers of all emergency departments including the police, Fire and Rescue Service, Health, etc. have been made available in the control rooms. Information on the ambulance services, heavy duty systems like JCB, etc. too will be kept in EOC.
Three teams, each comprising seven members, will be deployed to operate the EOC on a round-the-clock basis.