Odisha Govt To Adopt Technology For Early Lightning Warning

Bhubaneswar: To safeguard the lives of the people during natural calamity, the Odisha government has initiated steps for adoption of new technology for early lightning warning system in Odisha Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA).

This was discussed at a high-level meeting at the State Secretariat here on Tuesday presided over by chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi.

Initiating the discussion, State Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi said lightning strikes claimed 456 lives during 2016-17, 15 percent more compared to 2015-16.

Stating that the state government has been providing Rs 4 lakh as ex-gratia in lightning deaths, he said application of technology may help to bring down such cases.

The US-based Lightning analyzing system ‘Earth Network’ made a presentation at the meeting.

Considering views expressed by the experts and scientists present in the meeting, the chief secretary directed OSDMA authorities to prepare a project proposal with specific mention to location specific prediction, accuracy level, dissemination and advance alert to the people.

Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan suggested integration of the system with existing early warning dissemination system.

Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, Padhi said more than 450 people in our state have lost their lives last year because of lightning. “Each human life is precious for the state. The early warning system about lightning has shown positive results in some states and we will examine the utility and applicability of the system in our state for saving lives,” he added.

Chief Executive of Odisha Space Application Centre (ORSAC) Sandeep Tripathy also told the media that the early detection of lightning is feasible and it has been possible in some places. “The lightning can be noticed in the cloud 30 to 45 minutes ahead of its ground falling through the application of supper censors. The prediction can be made on the basis of scientific processing of the signals and the historical database. Once detected the probability of its ground fall can be calculated on the basis of GIS maps collected through remote sensing and the warning can be disseminated to people for taking precautions which will save their lives,” he pointed out.

It was decided that Pulse Radar technology would be used. Censors would be fixed in definite locations to receive signals from the Radar. Once the prediction is finalized, it would be disseminated through SMS, Mobile Apps, radio and TV. The system would also be helpful in the prediction of hail winds, hail storms, dangerous thunderstorm, flood and draught predictions.

Principal Secretary Finance Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Director, IMD, Sarat Chandra Sahu, Prof UC Mohanty of IIT-Bhubaneswar, Prof Udaya Kumar of Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, Kumar Margasahaym, Regional Manager Asia Earth Work, General Manager OSDMA Subhendra Kumar Nayak, Joint SRC Pravat Mohapatra along with thematic experts and officials of the concerned departments were present at the meeting.

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