Communication systems in the devastated Kedar valley have got a major boost with the Indian Space Research Organisation deploying its state-of-the-art disaster management system to support the Uttarakhand Police team struggling to dispose bodies of victims of the flash-floods.
The system connects the teams base camp in Guptkashi with the state police headquarters in Dehradun through video conference facility and became operational Thursday evening.
ISRO has also given the team satellite phones known as hand-held terminals and the facilities are expected to ensure smooth co-ordination with the remote region as civilian authorities conduct mopping up operations and focus on rebuilding and rehabilitation. It enables the police headquarters to remain in touch with the Guptkashi base camp 24×7. Team members who go to the Kedarnath temple area from Gaurikund to dispose bodies also carry satellites phones provided by the MHA and ISRO, a police source said.
While the satphone batteries last seven hours after being fully charged,special facilities have been put in place to charge the DMS in Guptkashi. Although we have arranged a generator to charge batteries,there is a solar panel given to the base camp for emergencies in case the generator fails, the source said,adding that this ensured continuous connectivity.
Officials said ISRO is also working to deploy a DMS each at Badrinath and Chinyalisaudh. Since Badrinath has no road communication,we are thinking of getting one DMS set installed in Gauchar, the official said. The DMS at Chinyalisaudh would connect Dehradun with Uttarkashi district,considered to be the most disaster-prone district of Uttarakhand.
The DMS has come as a boon to the department which has to communicate with remote areas in the mountainous state,an officer in the police headquarters control room said. Sitting here,we can see our officers working in Guptkashi. Although our wireless sets function,it is good to come face-to-face on the computer screen through video conferencing, he said.
Members of the team in the Kedar valley are airlifted from the base camp to areas where they have to search for bodies as the stench of decomposing bodies is unbearable,sources said.
Machines on way to recover bodies
DEHRADUN: JCB machines will be airlifted to Kedar valley to dig bodies out of debris. Police teams engaged in disposal of bodies is forced to use saw,shovels and chisels,hydraulic machines and plate cutters to recover the bodies.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde,who reviewed rescue operations,said,We will send JCB machines by MI-26 helicopters. I have spoken to my officers and the air force, Shinde said.
He also said senior officers of the Union Health Ministry have arrived in Uttarakhand to stop the possible outbreak of diseases following the floods. He said there is need to focus on digging out bodies. Our first job was to rescue the people who were stranded. We dont know how many people are still trapped under the debris, he said. He said those who are still present in Badrinath would be airlifted. Our first priority is to bring those who are old,physically challenged and women, he said. If weather condition favours,evacuation at Badrinath would be completed by Sunday,he said.