A day after chief minister Prithviraj Chavan expressed disappointment over the problem in communicating with top officials after the Wednesday blasts, the state government has now decided to have a dedicated mobile phones lines for VIPs governing the state.
In the meeting conveyed by chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad on Saturday, it was decided this network, which does not get jammed during emergencies, will be given to the chief minister, deputy chief minister, home minister, chief secretary, Mumbai police commissioner and other important officials.
“Phones tends to get jammed during such incidents because everyone is calling and hence we are looking at various options. For starters, we will go with the dedicated mobile phone lines,” said Umeshchandra Sarangi, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS).
Chavan in an interview to HT on Friday had said security forces should stay a step ahead of terrorists and as such the government was looking at upgrading its entire communication system. “For fifteen minutes after the blasts I could not get in touch with police officials. Now, we are looking at a four layered communication system including dedicated mobile phone lines, revived wireless network, satellite phones.”
The home department will also go shopping for HAM radios or amateur radios for emergency communications that can enable communication through Mumbai or even the state through use of designated radio bands. At the meeting, it was also decided to have more dedicated staff for the disaster control room.
In the issue concerning the Ram Pradhan Committee report, the home ministry has decided to consult Pradhan in future. “Wherever we feel the need, we will consult him,” said Sarangi.
After taking over as the ACS eight months back, Sarangi said he has studied the committee report and implemented many of the recommendations.
On Friday, HT reported that the state has implemented 70% of the recommendations of the committee report, which was set up after the November 2008 terrorist attack.