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Centre considers use of cellular technology for disaster warning

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Ahead of eventualities: P.G. Dhar Chakrabarti, Executive Director, National Institute of Disaster Management, speaking at the international conference on disaster management and mitigation at PSNA College of Engineering and Technology in Dindigul on Wednesday.
Ahead of eventualities: P.G. Dhar Chakrabarti, Executive Director, National Institute of Disaster Management, speaking at the international conference on disaster management and mitigation at PSNA College of Engineering and Technology in Dindigul on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter

“A total of 174 districts networked with powerful broadband facility”

DINDIGUL: The Central government has been mulling over use of cellular technology to pass disaster warning to people quickly. Such technology will help government alert people in disaster hit areas, said P.G. Dhar Chakrabarti, Executive Director, National Institute of Disaster Management.

Inaugurating an international conference on Disaster Management and Mitigation held at P.S.N.A. College of Engineering and Technology here on Wednesday, he said police wireless communication network was being used now to transmit disaster warning to all states and districts.

Three exclusive channels had been installed to pass information quickly without delay. Cellular technology would speed up communication, he added.

Briefing preventive measures, he said the Central government had created well-trained eight battalion of national disaster response force. Sophisticated technology was used to get early warning signals about disasters.

Fifty two Doppler radars were installed at various places and an early warning system at Hyderabad. Floating and under water Tsunami warning system were also installed in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea to get information within seconds, Mr. Chakrabarti said. “A total of 174 districts were networked with powerful broadband facility for rapid communication.”

Before 1990, 73 disasters took place around the world, which rose to 2,720 calamities in 1990-99. More than 4,500 disasters took place around the globe this decade ending 2009. Total economic loss the world over this decade was estimated to be one trillion dollars and it was Rs.22,000 crore in India alone, a 2.5 per cent of the GDP. Disasters could not be prevented, but its risk could be mitigated. The US, Europe and other developed countries had decreased vulnerability substantially, he added.

Acceptable risks should be defined. Effective propagation was essential to create awareness among people on preparedness and swift action in cases of emergency. All states should introduce disaster management subject in their school syllabus. Already, all CBSE schools and 50 per cent of state board schools had included it in their syllabus. Others should follow suit.

State and district level planning and mock drill were vital. Cyclone shelters should be installed along the coastal belt. Initially, retro-fitting could be done to lifeline structures like schools, hospitals and district administration buildings.

The Institute had been conducting training programmes on disaster management for engineering students.

Master trainers were developed to train civil engineers on designing disaster resistant structures.

In his special address, Collector M. Vallalar said engineering faculties and students should chalk out plans for creating awareness on disasters among people.

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