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Himachal to promote amateur radio to handle exigency

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | October 30, 2023 05:19 PM

SHIMLA: Taking into consideration the recent devastation triggered by torrential rains and landslides, the Himachal Pradesh government on Monday said it has given nod to promote amateur radio as an effective tool for alternate communication during emergencies.

Under this initiative, it is envisaged to create at least one radio volunteer in each subdivision. They will serve as a vital link in establishing an alternate communication channel in case of any disaster or emergency, connecting with emergency operation centres at the state level and all district emergency operation centres.

To ensure the effectiveness of this initiative, amateur radio volunteers will be registered and granted licences for the operation of the radios.

The government will provide financial assistance to the volunteers for purchasing the necessary equipment, an official statement said. It will cover 80 per cent of the cost of the amateur radio equipment, with the remaining amount to be borne by the volunteer.

The government would also help setting up new amateur radio clubs in educational institutions, strengthen the existing ones and impart training to the volunteers. "Amateur radio is of utmost importance in emergency communications, as it becomes a lifeline when wire lines, cell phones and other conventional means of communications fail. It can cover long distances allowing emergency responders to coordinate efforts effectively in response to the emergency situations," an official statement quoting Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu said.

"It ensures that vital information can be transmitted even when other communication methods falter, potentially saving valuable lives and bolstering emergency response efforts. During a crisis, this exchange of vital information is crucial between information sources, emergency managers and those who have been affected by the disasters."

During monsoon and winter seasons, several areas, including Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba and Kinnaur districts, experience communication system failure. In such circumstances, the promotion of amateur radio as an alternate means of communication is an asset.


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