NTA to improve GPRS for easier communication during disaster
Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) is preparing a National Emergency Telecom Plan to help save people from natural disasters.
The authority will send the draft plan to the Ministry of Information and Communications for endorsement, according to the regulatory authority of the telecom operators.
Satellite phones equipped with GPRS for sending and receiving is the most effective medium when most of the terrestrial telecom infrastructures are prone to damage during disasters. However, the authority is yet to estimate the cost and expertise required to develop the technology, said an expert engineer Shree Bhadra Wagle.
The information just two seconds earlier than disaster can reduce human casualties by 25 per cent, whereas the information received five seconds before the disaster can prevent 80 per cent of deaths, said deputy executive director of the National Society for Earthquake Technology Ramesh Guragain.
The society's study in 2009 revealed that nine out of 13 mobile towers are too fragile to withstand a strong tremor. The authority has to bring the regulation to manage the vulnerable towers and replacing the fragile ones.
chief of Disaster Management Section at the Ministry of Home Affairs Pradip Koirala, on the occasion, said that there is a lack of proper policy to work with private partners who have shown interest in bolstering disaster response mechanism. "There is a need to increase power backup at 83 identified open spaces by the ministry," he added.