Nagaland To Integrate HAM Radio For Emergency Response - Eastern Mirror
Monday, May 20, 2024

Nagaland to integrate HAM Radio for emergency response

By Thejoto Nienu Updated: May 10, 2024 9:23 pm
Johnny Ruangmei along with other officials during the debriefing at Conference Hall of NSDMA at Nagaland Civil Secretariat Kohima on Friday. (EM Images)

KOHIMA — Nagaland is taking a step towards enhancing its disaster preparedness by becoming the first state in India to integrate HAM Radio Technology into its emergency communication system.

Debriefing journalists at the NSDMA Conference Hall in Kohima on Friday, the joint CEO of Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA), Johnny Ruangmei said that a mock drill utilising HAM Radio technology was conducted on May 9, simulating a forest fire scenario in Dzuleke, an area with no mobile network coverage.

The drill, conducted in collaboration with Open Source Classes for Amateur Radio India (OSCAR INDIA), was the first-of-its-kind in the state and the country, he said.

Highlighting the potential for communication breakdowns during major disasters, particularly earthquakes, Ruangmei said that existing networks, including mobile phones, are likely to fail under such circumstances. To address this vulnerability, they have identified HAM Radio as a reliable and resilient communication alternative, alongside traditional walkie-talkies.

He said that the mock drill in Dzuleke, a location with no mobile network coverage, was a valuable learning experience as it exposed the challenges of establishing communication in remote areas. Though the team faced a three-hour delay in setting up the network, despite this initial hurdle, they successfully relayed information to the state emergency operation centre.

Prior to the mock drill, hands-on training for department officials was also conducted in April, and an examination will be conducted by the Ministry of Education for licensing HAM radio operators later in July, he said.

The goal is to equip NSDMA personnel with the necessary skills and licenses to become HAM Radio operators. In the first phase, 30 officials were trained and the state will have licensed operators by August or September.

The NSDMA also has plans to expand the initiative to include school children in the future, after the department officials are licensed, Ruangmei added.

The debriefing was also attended by Nilkantha Chaterjee, Chairman of IT and Communication from All India School of Management and Information Technology and Karen Rose Koza, Assistant Manager, Media and Public Relations, NSDMA.

By Thejoto Nienu Updated: May 10, 2024 9:23:26 pm
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