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Odisha Government Collaborates with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham to Implement Landslide Early Warning System in Gajapati District

February 14, 2024 - 12:19
Odisha Government Collaborates with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham to Implement Landslide Early Warning System in Gajapati District

In a strategic move to mitigate the impact of landslides during storms, the Odisha government is gearing up to establish a user-friendly Landslide Early Warning System (EWS) in Gajapati district. A team of experts from the World Centre of Excellence on Landslide at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham recently conducted a comprehensive study in the landslide-prone region, laying the groundwork for this innovative initiative. Established with the visionary goal of advancing, fostering, and applying wireless technologies for the betterment of society, the Centre stands as a beacon of innovation, dedicated to harnessing the power of technology for the greater good.

The seven-member team, led by Dr. Maneesha V. Ramesh, ( Provost for Strategic Initiatives, Research & Innovation ; Director & Professor at Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications) collaborated with Chief Administrative Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena to discuss the implementation of the Landslide Early Warning System. The discussions, which involved officers from the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and other officials, focused on providing the essential knowledge and skills required for the successful execution of the system.

During their two-day field visit, the expert team surveyed high-risk areas for landslides, including Baraghara and Madha in the Rayagada block of Gajapati district. The aim was to identify potential causes of landslides and propose effective mitigation measures. Dr. Sudesh K. Waddhawan , the center’s geoscience consultant, emphasized the importance of proactive measures in addressing landslide risks. The Landslide Early Warning System is expected to provide advanced information, ensuring timely alerts and necessary precautions to safeguard the lives and property of the residents . The collaboration between the Odisha government and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham signifies a joint effort towards disaster preparedness and response. As discussions continue, the partnership aims to bring the Landslide Early Warning System to fruition, setting a benchmark for proactive measures in disaster-prone regions.

In 2009, the Centre deployed the world’s first wireless sensor network system, later upgraded to an Internet of Things (IoT) system, for landslide detection and early warnings in Munnar, Kerala. The system’s success has been evident through advanced warnings issued in crucial years, serving as a lifeline during torrential rains. Inspired by this success, Amrita, in collaboration with the Government of India, replicated the system for the geologically active Sikkim Himalayan region in 2015. The Sikkim IoT system, co-funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, is deployed in partnership with the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority.

Amrita’s pioneering work in landslide detection earned them the prestigious awards including the International Program on Landslides, Kyoto Landslide Consortium ( IPL-KLC ) Award for Success and had received the NABARD Innovation prize in 2012, from then Finance Minister, Dr. P Chidambaram, for their rural development contributions . With community involvement, technological advancements, and knowledge transfer at its core, the project stands as a beacon of resilience, offering hope for a safer future in regions susceptible to natural disasters. The success of this joint endeavour has the potential to redefine disaster preparedness strategies and inspire similar collaborations globally, reinforcing the importance of anticipatory action in the face of nature’s unpredictable challenges.

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