The Indian Institute of Technology Mandi signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in Mandi to develop early warning systems for landslides at some sites.
The deployment sites will be selected by InSAR-based analysis and District Administration’s confirmation. The system has been developed by Dr. Varun Dutt, assistant professor in the School of Computing and Electrical Engineering, and Dr.K.V. Uday, assistant professor, School of Engineering.
“IIT Mandi is delighted to partner with the State Government to address the issue of landslides through this innovation of landslide monitoring systems installed in critical sites. The system has also recently been reviewed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. IIT Mandi will work towards a robust technology solution to make this innovation one of its kind,” said Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director, IIT Mandi, who was appointed in January.
It is suggested that a warning system should begin to generate alerts at least 1.5 to 2 hours before a disaster occurs. Such a system would allow for timely evacuations. Current warning ranges are between 10 minutes and 15 minutes. Arindam Chaudhary, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Mandi, spoke about the Landslide Monitoring and Warning System, saying, “Saving human lives is a matter of utmost concern, and this alert system will allow the administration to evacuate people more efficiently.”
An MoU signed between IIT Mandi and the Kangra division of the DDMA has enabled IIT Mandi to install 10 such systems at Kangra. Using hooters and blinkers mounted on the road, it alerts the user of soil movement via text messages. Additionally, rainfall alerts are sent if the rainfall exceeds 5mm.
A solution to the theft of these warning systems has also been requested by the Deputy Commissioner. He has asked the institute to develop low-cost processing units for cereals such as corn, which are healthy and readily available. To make transportation easier, the Director urged the development of low-cost, improvised ropeways in small villages.