Enhancing Chemical Safety: GIS Based Emergency Planning & Response Systems

Introduction to GEPR System

The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) of India has long been at the forefront of chemical safety and accident prevention. With the development of the GIS Based Emergency Planning & Response (GEPR) System, the ministry has marked a significant milestone in its efforts to safeguard human lives and environmental health against chemical hazards.

Strategic Development of GEPR

The GEPR System is a sophisticated web-based application designed to optimize emergency responses at clusters of Major Accident Hazard (MAH) units. The development of this system represents almost a decade of dedicated efforts and collaboration across various phases. Today, it covers nearly a thousand MAH units across 63 districts in 15 industrially advanced states of India.

Technical Advancements in GEPR

The GEPR System leverages high-resolution mapping and dynamic data updating capabilities. This innovative approach not only enhances the accuracy of emergency response strategies but also allows for real-time adjustments based on evolving situations at chemical plant sites.

Legal Framework and Compliance

Regulatory Milestones

The Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 and subsequent amendments, including the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989 (updated in 2000) and the Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning Preparedness and Response) Rules, 1996, provide a robust legal framework. These regulations mandate comprehensive safety audits, the development of onsite emergency plans, and regular mock drills, ensuring that all MAH units adhere to stringent safety protocols.

Continuous Improvement and User Feedback

Feedback is an essential component of the GEPR system’s evolution. It informs ongoing enhancements and ensures that the system remains responsive to the needs of its users. Future updates will include additional features and modules to further enhance the system’s functionality.

Community and Environmental Impact

Reduction in Chemical Accidents

Since the tragic Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, there has been a concentrated effort to reduce the frequency and impact of chemical accidents in India. The GEPR System is a pivotal part of this initiative, providing actionable insights that help minimize potential hazards effectively.

Safety Audits and Risk Assessments

The MoEF&CC has funded numerous projects to conduct rapid safety audits and hazard analyses. These assessments are critical in understanding the risks posed by MAH units and preparing them to handle possible emergency scenarios efficiently.

Future Directions

Enhancements in GEPR

The ministry continues to prioritize loss prevention from chemical accidents. Ongoing improvements to the GEPR System are expected to include upgraded user interface designs, more detailed hazard mapping, and integration with other emergency response systems nationally.


The GEPR System exemplifies MoEF&CC’s commitment to enhancing the safety and efficiency of India’s chemical industry. Through continuous technological upgrades and adherence to comprehensive safety regulations, the system sets a benchmark in emergency planning and response strategies, aiming for a safer future for all.

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