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Multi-lingual disaster warning system launched

The system can be used in issuing warnings to citizens in riot situations and other calamities, reports Srinand Jha.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2006 22:31 IST

Now a multi-lingual disaster warning dissemination system to informs citizens about an impending calamity in their locality in thirty seconds flat!

Billed as the world’s first system that delivers message alerts over mobile phones and specially set up public wireless address systems in localities likely to be affected by natural disasters in the local language - the technology has been designed as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects involving the Indian Meteorological Department, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Ministry of Science and Technology and the Geneva Software Technologies (GST).

Launched at a function presided over by the Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, the system involves an intricate but fast-forward procedure of delivery: The meteorological department uses its web interface to key in a message or alert about a natural disaster anywhere in the country. This message is then sent to the GST server for being translated and streamed as a multi-lingual message.

The Location Based Language Message Service (LBLMS) maps the location and identifies subscribers in the area while the Dynamic Voice Translation System (DVTS) translates this alert, converts it to voice and streams it as voice calls.

The streamed voice message is also broadcast through specially installed wireless public address systems.

The technology does not require the download of alert applications or fonts on mobiles and is available in over a hundred languages, said the GST Marketing Director Amar Singh.

For instance, a Chinese tourist in Sri Lanka will receive alerts in Chinese language instead of Sinhalese or Tamil, he elaborated.

The technology, said the Science and Technology Minister, provides a unique and successful example of India’s ability to leapfrog the industrial revolution and move to the IT revolution, while providing for low cost solutions for the benefit of the common man.

Named the Geneva Natural Disaster Information System, this technology will shortly be employed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Sibal said. The system has had two pilot project launches in India so far - at Chennai and Nagapattanam respectively.

Besides natural disasters including breakout of epidemics, the system can be put to use in issuing warnings to citizens in riot situations and other man-made calamities.

First Published: Oct 27, 2006 22:31 IST