Bhubaneswar: A meeting was held under the chairmanship of Bishnupada Sethi, Special Relief Commissioner to review the status of implementation of the Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) for Last Mile Connectivity being implemented in 22 coastal Blocks of the 6 coastal districts of Odisha as a Component of the World Bank supported National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project.
TheAdditional District Magistrates of project districts, Block Development Officers of the project Blocks and representatives of the related departments such as School & Mass Education Department, Fisheries & ARD Department, Home and representative of the executive agency attended the said meeting.
The EWDS Project aims at establishing a fool-proof communication system to address the existing gap of disseminating disaster warning up to the community level.
6 coastal districts covered under the project are Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri and Ganjam.
The total cost of the project is Rs.75 crore out of which about Rs. 67 crore will be funded under NCRMP. The balance Rs.8.00 crore towards AMC cost for 3rd 4th and 5th year will be borne by the State Government under State Disaster Response Fund.
Office of SRC assigned with the implementation of the project and NDMA is the National level nodal agency. The project is executed by Larsen & Toubro.
Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL), a Government of India agency, has been engaged by NDMA as Consultant for this project and Third Party Consultant (Technical) as well.
Odisha based firm ARKITECHNO, Consultants (India) Pvt. Ltd. has been engaged as TPQA for civil works.
Following additional layers of communication systems are being set up under the project:
• Satellite-Based Mobile Data Voice Terminals (SBMDVT)- 2 sets each at the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) and 6 District Emergency Operation Centres (DEOCs)
• Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) to SEOC, 6 DEOCs, 22 BEOCs, 14 Fish Landing Centres (FLCs) and 113 Alert Siren Tower locations and DMR Repeater Stations at 6 locations.
• Mass Messaging System at the State EOC. This will facilitate sending warning messages through SMS to all mobile phone subscribers in a particular locality/ area likely to be affected by a threatening disaster.
• Alert Siren System at 122 locations near the coast (within 1.5 km approximately) to cover Tourist Places, Fish Landing Centres and coastal habitations. This system will be helpful for communicating both cyclone and tsunami warnings to the coastal population directly from the State Headquarters.
• Universal Communication Interface (UCI) to be installed in the State EOC for interoperability among different communication technologies like VHF, HF, Ham Radio, DMR, Mobile Phone, Landline, etc.
It was revealed from the review that out total 103 towers and 57 rooftop poles to be erected under the project, 99 towers and all 57 poles have since been installed. The balance 3 towers are expected to be completed within next two weeks.
All major equipment except digital mobile radio items has also been supplied/installed. As the required licence for the digital mobile radio communication equipment from the Wireless Planning and Monitoring Wing under the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has since been received, the digital mobile radio items are likely to be delivered soon.
Various issues concerning the project like arrangement for security proper upkeep of the EWDS installations, proper inventory of equipment and materials supplied under the project, etc. were also discussed in the meeting.
The project is likely to be completed in all respect and commissioned by 31st March 2018.