www spatialindia com India s Premier Geospatial Monthly It
Shared by: oneforseven
www.spatialindia.com It is time to change, says Prof Ramamurthy India’s Premier Geospatial Monthly I t is time to change. Several people are asking me if Google Earth is a threat but I have no answers, said Prof V S Ramamurthy, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology. Maps have always been tool kits for defence and security related Chennai, Tuesday, October 25, 2005 agencies. They are reluctant to Special supplement on international conference on part with information to their in the year is an acknow- Spatial Data Infrastructure And Its Role In Disaster Management adversaries. But technological ledgment by the government revolution has changed the that technologies have been scenario today. It brought ‘Integrate databases to digital maps to everyone and when it is coupled together with GIS, GPS and other technologies, changing and it is necessary that we take a middle path, he said. create information highway’ it is a developmental tool. It can be put to use to a variety of purposes right from Every technology has a threat perception. For example, take the case of nano technology – infrastructure building to even before a single product disaster management and it is using this technology has been important that everybody has unveiled, people started talking access to it, opined the about its advantages and aired distinguished professor. their concerns. It is the responsibility of all the Map policy announced earlier - Turn to page 3 NDMA, a guide for disaster management R avaged by natural and man-made calamities over the years, it was high time that with the organisation. Empow- ered to formulate the plans and policies for disaster manage- India had a policy and decision ment, NDMA approves the Na- making body to give directions tional Disaster Management and set up guidelines to man- Plan, approves the plans laid age disasters. The National Di- down by various departments saster Management Authority of the government, and coordi- (NDMA) which came into being nates the implementation of in May 2005 is the first step in such plans and policies aimed that direction. at disaster management, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Thiru. S Regupathy delivering the key note address. From left P Murari, advisor to Speaking on the opening day of among other things. president, FICCI, Vinod C Menon, NDMA, R Muthu, chairman of FICCI, Tamil Nadu and Alok K Mittal, advisor, FICCI. the International Conference on In the post-disaster scenario, T he National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) should focus on providing The conference is organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce being P Murari, advisor to the president, FICCI, proposed a vote of thanks. Comparing the Spatial Data Infrastructure and its role in Disaster Manage- ment, Vinod C Menon, Member, NDMA arranges for and over- sees the financial assistance that is required for mitigation, organised spatial data and and Industry (FICCI) in disaster management NDMA, explained the responsi- and also for preparedness and multi-level networking to association with Department of preparedness in the developed bilities and activities vested - Turn to page 3 enhance economic growth, Science and Technology. Over and developing nations, he social progress and two hundred delegates from recollected how earthquake environmental quality, various parts of the country and wardens of the disaster-prone exhorted S Regupathy, Minister abroad are participating in the areas in the US ensured that the of State for Home Affairs. three-day event. people took necessary Inaugurating `International Earlier in the day, welcoming precautions and remained Conference on Spatial Data the delegates, R Muthu, ready to face any disaster. Infrastructure and its role in chairman of FICCI, Tamil Nadu Murari emphasised that with Disaster Management’ , he said state council, recalled the loss of the latest developments in though the government should life and devastation caused by science and technology, we take the initiative, private the tsunami in the coastal need to develop signs of disasters enterprise, NGOs and districts of the State last and translate them into academia have a key role in December. Had we been intelligent signals, which in making the National Spatial prepared for such a disaster, the turn should result in prompt Data Infrastructure (NSDI) a situation wouldn’t have been so actions, so that the severity of reality. bad, he pointed out. He also the disaster is minimised. Noting that geospatial data was underlined the need for a “Think in terms of content critical to every sphere of permanent and readily- dissemination of information development activity now, the available infrastructure to face and mitigate and minimise loss minister said such an such challenges. of life,’’ he exhorted. He also infrastructure would minimise Vinod C Menon, Member, touched upon the importance of duplication of efforts by various National Disaster Management trauma management in post- agencies, improve the quality, Authority (NDMA), spoke at disaster situations and said that reduce costs for geographic length on the use of organised it is essential for the victims to information and make data spatial data in disaster be free of fear to continue life as readily available to the user. He management. Explaining the before. An exhibition said that all the individual role and responsibilities of showcasing the various databases should be integrated NDMA, he said disaster and activities and devices to create an information development are closely contributing to disaster highway that could be put to a related. management also is on at the variety of uses. venue. 2 FICCI News October 25, 2005 Who owns a disaster? T he Central government? The State government? The district adminis- tration? The community or the indi- to quantify the risk, assess the damage, which has no scien- vidual? That question by chairperson tific basis yet, how Amitabha Pande kickstarted a hot debate the databases could at the round table with eminent persons help in reducing the on its panel. vulnerability and Answering this ques- what kind of spatial, Prof Santosh tion, Prof VK Gaur of social and economic Kumar the Indian Institute data is of importance. of Astrophysics, Ban- Simultaneously, he pointed out certain galore, said commu- concerns regarding the collection, reli- nity participation is ability and sharing of data. primary and unless Prof Vinod Vyasulu, Director, Centre for the government in- Budget and Policy Studies, opined that Prof VK Gaur volves people in a data should be collected, analysed and substantive manner, it can never effect utilized at local level which would auto- disaster management in an effective matically pave way for the aggregation way. Taking the context of Kashmir and of data at the national level. how people panicked during the recent Round Table With Eminent Persons in progress Development cannot earthquake in the Valley, Maj Gen M be made sustainable Gopal Rao felt that an intervention have the right for map information, Sur- who constitute eminent personalities unless there is a mechanism that can regulate the over- veyor General M Gopal Rao said the gov- working on disasters and disaster man- proper disaster man- whelmed public in the event of a disas- ernment would soon come up with guide- agement presented their views over the agement system in ter is essential. lines that would clear the ambiguities theme. Prof VK Gaur, former secretary place, said Vandana At this point, surrounding the map policy introduced of ocean development said it is time to Sharma, senior tech- Amitabha Pande in May 2005 and would clear all ob- rethink taking the fourth dimension into nical director, Na- pointed out that over stacles in the availability of map infor- account – anticipation for the future. Dr Vandana tional Informatics the years, govern- mation. Sashidhar of Atomic Energy Prof KK Aggarwal, Vice Chancellor, Guru Sharma Centre and added ments have behaved Regulatory Board (AERB) opined that Gobind Singh that no single solu- as though they own data delayed is data denied and said that Indraprastha Uni- tion can be applied to disaster mitigation the people and they it takes a lot of time even for government versity, Delhi, said and it requires multi-disciplinary ap- know what is good organization like AERB to get data from his university has proach. The core requirement for effec- and what is bad for Amitabha Pande government agencies. He requested that introduced an MBA tive disaster management is to integrate the people. This made the people depend a single window mechanism be intro- course in disaster data from various fora and sectors so much on the government that they duced for easy availability of data to the management for the seamlessly, she said. stopped doing anything on themselves. users. Prof Gaur opined at this point that first time in the coun- Taking the citizen’s It is time that we unleash the potential a rational approach should be taken with Prof KK Aggarwal try. It is a multi-dis- point of view, Anil K of local communities so that a synergy regard to making the data available to ciplinary course drafted to produce a task Sinha said that it is could be created among the government various users and the industry. force who would be torch bearers in di- important to assess if at the top, administration and the citi- The focus of the debate then shifted to saster management. It is important not all the people of an zens who are at the receiving level. `SDI for whom?’ Making his remarks on to look at the short term benefits of disas- affected area are He also wondered why the government this issue, Anil K Sinha said technology ter management but to take stock of all equally vulnerable is ducking out on sharing map informa- is at one end and the common user at the tangible and non-tangible benefits, he or not and the reasons tion which is vital for development when end of the spectrum and unless technol- said. for the unequality. It Anil K Sinha it was bold enough to introduce the Right ogy translates itself to reach the common Raising a few policy issues, Prof Santosh is essential to start working with the to Information Bill and get it ratified by man, it makes no sense. Kumar of National Institute of Disaster people for effective disaster manage- the Parliament. Agreeing that people Earlier during the session, the panelists, Management, Delhi, said it is important ment, he opined. Show of strength & innovation Survey of India, Tata Infotech Ltd, Lepton Software Exports and Research (P) Ltd, Astra Microwave Products Limited, Micro technologies (India Limited), Structural Engineering research Centre and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Some latest equipment such as Motorola’s Canopy, Union Minister of State for Home Sri. S Regupathy inaugurating the exhibition Hewlett Packard’s A n exhibition showcasing the various Designjet printers, Image Webserver activities, achievements and 7.0, vehicle black box and home security equipment developed by scientific system are on display at the exhibition. organisations and the industry is on at The history and advancement that the the `International Conference on Spatial country has made in various spheres of Data Infrastructure and its role in science can be viewed and bought Disaster Management’. through CDs at the stalls put up by Inaugurated earlier in the day by different scientific organisations. Minister of State for Home Affairs, S Products can be booked or bought over Regupathy, the show has stalls by the counter. MM Active has organised National Remote Sensing Agency, the exhibition. October 25, 2005 FICCI News 3 Gallery It is time to change, says NDMA, a guide for Prof Ramamurthy - from page 1 disaster management stakeholders to come out with a good means to take stock of the situation and provide ideal solutions. With its satellite images, Google Earth has pronounced to the country and to the world that you cant live in yesterday’s world and it is time to change. The government may take unrealistically long time to react and act to this development but it will certainly act, he said. Prof Ramamurthy unveiling the micro intelligent black box He closed his remarks saying Vinod C Menon, Member, NDMA makes a special presentation that one cannot brush away a threat perception but at the - from page 1 and easier. The geographical same time one should not get response. information systems would be overwhelmed by it. It has proposed setting up of di- applied in fields such as emer- Earlier, Prof Ramamurthy saster management authorities gency medicine, search and res- launched the micro intelligent at the state and district levels, cue, early warning, remote sens- black box, designed by Micro and also has formed a National ing, disaster mitigation, trauma Technologies, a disaster Disaster Response Force consist- management, institutional net- management system for ing of eight battalions chosen working and spatial location of unmanned location. A cultural from CRPF, CISF, ITBP and BSF. public amenities. Having a geo- programme organized by the The NDMA believes that mak- graphical database for all these department of art and culture, ing use of Spatial Data Infra- activities would certainly make Government of Tamil Nadu structure, disaster management the operations quicker and more followed. would be much more efficient focussed. A delegate expressing his views Cultural programme in progress A section of the delegates listening to the conference proceedings A stall at the exhibition 4 FICCI News October 25, 2005 Danger on the coast W here there is a coast, there is a natu ral hazard lurking. And in the con- text of India, which has 7000 km of coast- Cyclone Disaster Management. He also added that as a result of cyclones, good rainfall follows. Radio sonde, radar line, the chance of some form of disaster winds, satellite, Doppler radar, data occurring at any point of time seems per- buoy, ship, high wind speed recorders, petual. So, it is wise to have mitigation are some of the tools and equipment used measures in place, adapting to latest tech- to collect data by the department. nologies that can provide early warning, Dr M Sakthivel, president of Aquacul- felt speakers at the session on cyclone and ture Foundation of India, suggested that tsunami. seaweed farming would be a viable op- Dr Shetye, Director, National Institute tion for the fisherfolk and other coastal of Oceanography, Goa, in his presenta- communities in the post-disaster sce- tion on Marine hazards along the coast of nario. Terming seaweed as the medical India, dwelt on the various well known food of the 21st century, he said farming and lesser known natural hazards along of a variety known as kappaphycus the Indian coastline, where about 25% of alvarezii required minimum infrastruc- the country’s population lives within in ture such as bamboos, nylon sets and an- 50 Km of coastline. Session on Cyclone and Tsnami in progress chors alone to start the farming. A fam- Apart from the storm surges, which hit ily through concerted efforts could eas- tic and the Pacific oceans on either sides. network, argo floats, moored data buoys, the eastern coast quite frequently, the ily make over one lakh rupees per an- During the December satellites, bathymetry surveys and data Indian coast is often affected with harm- num through this, he said. He added that 2004 tsunami, about buoys, he pointed out that we need to put ful algal blooms, which clog gills of fish this variety of seaweed has great export 4% of tsunami en- in more efforts. resulting in their mass deaths and causes potential. ergy leaked into the S Sridharan, deputy director general discolouration of the water. Dr Shetye Atlantic and 6% into Avinash Bector of Motorola, through of Meteorology , Regional Meteorology also briefed on hazards like tsunamis and Pacific. If not for these a presentation, explained the wireless Centre, Chennai, pointed out that the oil spills. windows, the tsu- broadband technology the company has wisdom lay in being aware of the prob- Detailing the role of nami would have developed called Canopy. It provides re- lem, being prepared to meet it and in armed forces in the been 10% stronger Tad Murty liable, scalable, secure, high speed minimising the losses. Science and tech- management of di- and four hours longer, said Murty, popu- nology is to be put to adequate use to internet access and private network in- sasters, Brig RS larly known as Tad Murty. terconnection. Capable of delivering achieve this, he said. He was presenting Ahluwalia said af- data, video and voice, it is highly useful Indian Ocean is similar to the Pacific but a paper on Spatial Data Acquisition in ter the recent earth- in disaster situations for connectivity, he much smaller and so the boundary con- India Meteorological Department for quake in Kashmir pointed out. ditions are different. So Indian Ocean valley, the Indian model should be different to that of the Brig RS Ahluwalia Army has responded Pacific model. But however efficient a in less than one hour rescuing people built system is, the amplitude and en- from collapsed buildings using various ergy of tsunami waves cannot be simu- modes. This to a very great extent re- lated because they depend on the inten- duced the casualties, he said. During sity of the earthquake, depth of the ocean similar crises in the past, the armed forces and the curvature of the earth, Murty in India have always come to the aid of said. the affected, Ahluwalia said and added He opined that each state in India has its that it’s a matter of pride for the country own vulnerability profile and so should that we could send relief material and prepare its own inundation model – to aid to countries ranging from Maldives, model maximum amplitude, maximum Srilanka and Indonesia (2004 tsunami) horizontal extent of tsunami inundation, to the USA (hurricane Katrina). maximum currents and special hydro- Talking about `Tsunamis - basics, detec- dynamic models. tion and warning These coastal models should be very de- system’, Prof tailed, he said. Listing out the tsunami Narendra Saxena hotspots on the Indian coasts, Murty said of the University of that geometry, curvature etc influence Hawaii said about the vulnerability of a particular site on 36.5 million square the coast and added that Gulf of Kutch, miles of the Pacific Gulf of Cambay, followed by Andaman Ocean is not mapped Prof and Nicobar islands, Paradip in Orissa yet and no sufficient Narendra Saxena and Cuddalore and Nagapattinam on data is available to Tamil Nadu coast (in that order) are vul- predict the tsunamis that cause immense nerable. destruction. A similar fate awaits the In- dian Ocean if bathymetric analysis is not Making a presentation on Cyclone and undertaken on time. Tsunami Warning System, Dr S Kathiroli, Director, National Institute Adapting to latest technologies like pres- of Ocean Technology, explained the gen- sure sensors and adequate satellite cov- eral situation with regard to the occur- erage will be helpful in providing real rence of cyclones and tsunami all over time data and information about the tsu- the world. He pointed out that 6-7% of namis, Prof Saxena opined and suggested the world’s cyclones take place in the In- that India has to learn from the pitfalls dian Ocean. of the Pacific system. Explaining that the current capabilities TS Murty of University of Ottawa de- of India in monitoring tsunami are good tailed on the `Numerical modelling for with various equipment and tools such the Indian Tsunami Warning System’. as drifting buoys, tide gauges, seismic Indian Ocean is connected to the Atlan- Published by P Chandrasekhar Reddy, on behalf of Spatial Networks Pvt Ltd, V Floor, Pavani Plaza, 6-2-984, Khairatabad, Hyderabad 500 004 - INDIA. Tel: 91-40-5566 9994, 5566 9998, 5566 8887, Printed by Ratna Offset Printers, 40, Peters Road, Royapeta, Chennai ; Fax: 91-40-2330 2510, E-mail: email@example.com, Website: www.spatialindia.com.