India’s capacity to deal with a disaster depends on government investment into IT infrastructure
Ravi S Saxena | November 24, 2014
Different types of natural disasters – like flood, drought, earthquake, cyclone, hurricane, tsunami and landslide – strike different corners of the world depending on their vulnerability in terms of geological, geographical and climatic factors. The aboriginals treated disasters as curses by god and, therefore, worshipped and propitiated fire, water and wind to be spared of their fury and wrath. With the advent of technology, however, different governments have been able to significantly reduce the damage due to disasters. Considerable emphasis is now being placed on research and development activities in the areas of information and communication technology (ICT) for disaster management.
Quintessentially, natural disasters cause damage and result in disruption of ICT infrastructure, which is necessary for effective and efficient disaster management activities. Communication systems like radio, television, telephones (fixed and mobile), SMS and voice mail have a role to play in disaster mitigation. Cell broadcasting is one of the major resources in managing disasters by sending text messages to the screens of all mobile devices which have such a capability in any group of cell of any size, ranging from single cell to the whole country, if necessary.
It requires a state-of-the-art IT infrastructure along with highly optimised standard operating procedures to arrive at the best utilisation of IT solutions. A case in point is the proposal of putting a state-wide modern ICT network for emergency response by the Gujarat disaster management authority. The SEOC is envisaged to have communication facilities with six levels of redundancy for communicating with all stakeholders during the time of an emergency or a disaster. This network would be designed for integrating the SEOC at Gandhinagar with 26 district emergency operation centres, five emergency response centres and 226 taluka emergency operation centres.
The state administration will establish a secure centralised location with adequate communication for planning, decision support and coordination during a disaster or emergency. Internet, GIS, remote sensing, satellite-based communication links can help in planning and implementation of disaster risk reduction measures. These technologies have been playing a major role in designing early warning systems, catalyzing the process of preparedness, response and mitigation. GIS-based systems improve the quality of analysis of hazard vulnerability and capacity assessment guide development planning and assist planners in the selection of mitigation process.
Satellite radio and technology applications like remote sensing satellites (earth observations), weather monitoring, early warning systems (satellite-activated audio-visual warning alarm beacon and buoys, GPS navigation satellite (co-ordinate observation and location), satellite broadcasting, etc,. serve as facilitating technologies in addressing these needs. All these technologies provide position information for mapping where no mapping information is available. In fact, incorporation of GPS in mobile phones places an emergency location capability in the hands of everyday user. Multiple data centres and wide area networks of different states and government departments have to be part of a larger single government cloud if the disaster mitigation efforts have to percolate to the last formation at the village level. This would require national spatial data infrastructure to be accorded a legal status with clear mandate of a designated department of the Indian government to own all data in the public domain.
The Railways was unable to meet its operational cost of passenger and other coaching services. During 2014-15, there was a loss of Rs 33,821.70 crore on passenger and other coaching services. The freight services earned a profit of Rs 38,312.59 crore which indicated that 88.28 percent
Seasoned BJP parliamentarian Nand Kumar Sai, who took charge as the chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) on February 28, has his work cut out for him. Archana Mishra caught up with Sai, 71, on his first day in office where he
Should there be automatic termination as member of parliament if that person takes oath as minister/chief minister in a state?
When the truth was a few steps away from Modi’s gaze In November 2014, prime minister Narendra Modi made his first visit to his constituency Varanasi and launched a massive cleanliness drive at Asi ghat, which was covered in mud and silt. When locals sa
India has slipped one spot in the Human Development Index 2016. India’s HDI value for 2015 is 0.624 — which put the country in the medium human development category - positioning it at 131 out of 188 countries and territories. Between 1990 and 2015,
An appeal was made to PSUs to contribute funds under their CSR Scheme towards Health Minister’s Cancer Patient Fund-CSR for treatment of poor cancer patients. India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) contributed an amount of Rs 7.5 crore in 2015-16.