Rural districts in Uttarakhand to have community radios network for disaster alerts | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Rural districts in Uttarakhand to have community radios network for disaster alerts

The Uttarakhand government will introduce a network of community radios in all disaster-prone districts for alerting the people in advance about natural calamities and for providing assistance in post disaster relief and rescue operations.

dehradun Updated: Sep 28, 2017 20:36 IST
Deep Joshi
Villagers in remote areas will be alerted about natural calamities on the community radio network.
Villagers in remote areas will be alerted about natural calamities on the community radio network. (HT File Photo.)

The Uttarakhand government will introduce a network of community radios in all disaster-prone districts for alerting the people in advance about natural calamities and for providing assistance in post disaster relief and rescue operations.

“We along with the central government are working jointly on a plan under which a network of community radios will be introduced in all areas falling in the disaster prone districts,” secretary, disaster management, Amit Negi told HT. “The decision was taken because the community radio is the only reliable means of communication in times of natural disasters.”

All other means of communication such as tower-based mobile telephony or landline phones mostly stop working during natural calamities, he said. “That is what was witnessed in areas struck by the cataclysmic floods in 2013,” he said, adding besides disaster prone hill districts, the network of community radios would be set up in all rural areas. “In that connection, a plan is being chalked out jointly by us and the Centre.”

Under the plan, panchayat bodies would be provided subsidies to set up the systems of community radios. “These radios, which will be connected with regional networks of the All India Radio, will function on frequencies allotted by the Centre.”

The senior bureaucrat asserted community radios would help serve multi-pronged objectives. “Such a system will help in issuing instant weather alerts, besides alerting people about impending natural calamities like floods and earthquakes.”

It would be easier to communicate about relief and rescue operations, or, about areas where relief supplies could be accessed. Community radios would also be crucial in helping farmers enhance their incomes by informing them about the best agricultural practices. “Through the community-based broadcast system, it will also be easier to tell them about quality seeds or fertilisers and also about areas where such facilities are available,” Negi said.

The system would help vigorously publicise among the rural people the official drives such as the Swachh campaign. “Similarly, the radio broadcast facility can be utilised to spread awareness about educational programmes.”

Negi asserted the government wanted to encourage the system of community radios as it turned out to be a successful experience. “We introduced ‘Mandakini Ki Awaz’, a community-based radio in Rudraprayag sometime ago, which turned out to be very useful for the people of that (Mandakini valley) area.”