Thursday, October 11, 2007

Experts call for advanced ICT to fight disasters

Are we well prepared to deal with natural disasters? Do we have the technology required? These were questions raised at an interaction programme organized by Computer Association of Nepal (CAN) on Emergency Communication Systems, Tuesday.

Suresh Ojha CAN-USA representative and RF/Microwave R&D engineer sated that California and Kathmandu shared the same seismic history, adding it was high time caution was taken to prevent extensive casualties after an earthquake.

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"Even though Nepal Army does have units to deal with natural disasters in all 75 districts, the technology we use is not advanced enough to mitigate the impact substantially,"stated Col. Kumar Dangol, Head at Research and Development Directorate, Army Headquarters.

CAN president Biplav Man Singh stated that active emergency communication systems in Nepal were present in dams where once the water level exceeded the acceptable level. As siren goes off, that alerts villagers and people of potential disaster like dam breakage.

"We do have the technology to produce and manufacture communication systems that can be used in emergencies," said engineering students Prawish Maharjan, Basanta Joshi, Deepak Chapagain and Niraj Tamrakar who have developed a complex RF module Printed Circuit Board that is used in TVs, radios and CC-TVs.

"Information and communication technology is the most critical part of any nation's development and all political parties must treat ICT as a nervous system of any country," said Ojha.

To do this he suggested that Nepal government should develop a rational ICT policy and learn from China and India's failures; simplify visa processing for foreign ICT experts wishing to come to Nepal and make broadband internet facility universally available and cost effective. We should also improve communication systems all over the country and the general public should be informed about what to do and where to go in case of an emergency," he said.

src:http://www.gorkhapatra.org.np/content.php?nid=28387

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