In the aftermath of the floods at Uttarakhand, the state government, to avert calamities in the near future, has decided to have a control room of international standard – with an early warning system in place -- at its headquarters Mantralaya.
The government claimed that it would be the first state headquarters in the country to have an early warning system. The system will enable government to know in advance about an impending natural calamity like tsunami, said officials.
The development is late but significant after the control room on the 5th floor of Mantralaya was reduced to ashes in last June’s devastating blaze.
The old control room did not have much to flaunt except a few television sets, fax machines and telephone lines.
Employees drawn from various departments took turns to man the room.
They did not have any expertise in analysing information collected. This practice still continues at a makeshift control room and defeats the very purpose of the facility.
HT had reported this management, following which some permanent staff was made available to the control room.
However, the new control room promises to have the best technology available in the world.
The state government approved Rs60 crore for this purpose on Tuesday. The room is expected to be ready only late next year after the first three floors of Mantralaya undergo a makeover.
In view of lack of expertise required, the disaster control department will hand over this project to an expert private or semi-government agency.
“The agency selected will build, operate and maintain the new control room,” said disaster management secretary IS Kundan. The room will come up at a 5000square feet space on the ground floor of Mantralaya.
Some place near the garden gate of the main building will also be used by the department for installing equipment. Kundan claimed that the state would be the first in the country to have early warning system .
“No other state has such facility. We will also have dedicated emergency response vehicles at our disposal, also a first of its kind for any state government,” said Kundan.