The Uttarakhand government has sanctioned ₹3.2 crore to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee for installation and maintenance of earthquake sensors in the state as a part of the Earthquake Early Warning System.
Earlier, 84 such sensors were installed in the Garhwal region. Now, sensors will be set up in the Kumaon region.
The entire online system is transmitted in real-time to IIT Roorkee
“We have released a sum of ₹3.2 crore to IIT Roorkee for setting up the sensors as well as for maintaining them for one year,” disaster management secretary Amit Negi told Hindustan Times.
Earlier, the whole project was being funded by the union earth sciences ministry. “The funding was, however, discontinued recently after which the state government has stepped in to provide the funds,” he said.
Ashok Kumar, a professor with the department of earthquake engineering at IIT Roorkee, said, “Through the funds, we will be purchasing and installing around 80-100 sensors in the Kumaon region besides operating the entire network (including both in Garhwal and Kumaon region).”
Of the total amount, sensors will be purchased for around ₹1-1.5 crore, while the rest will be used for covering the operational costs, a major part of which goes to the state-run telecom service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd for data transmission, Kumar said.
As a part of the system, sensors installed across various locations detect the primary waves (or the initial tremors), after which the data is transmitted in real-time to the main server at IIT Roorkee.
Based on the data analysis, advance warnings or alerts can be sent out through TV, radio, mobile etc to help prevent loss of life during earthquakes.
Notably, most parts of Uttarakhand fall in either Zone V or IV of the Seismic Zone Map of India, and are susceptible to high-intensity earthquakes.
The Himalayan state has already witnessed many low intensity earthquakes in the past few months, including one of moderate intensity, reading 5.8 on the Richter Scale, in February.