West Bengal Current Affairs

Home Ministry conducts Multi State Mega Mock Tsunami Exercise 2017

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) conducted Multi State Mega Mock Tsunami Exercise 2017 along the entire East Coast in 31 coastal districts across four States.

It was conducted through National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS). The exercise was one of various activities conducted as part of observation of 2nd World Tsunami Awareness Day (observed on November 5).

Key Facts

The exercise was simultaneously conducted in 31 coastal districts across four States – West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (UT) along entire East Coast. It aimed to assess and help improve preparedness, response mechanism and coordination among concerned agencies.

It was for first time entire eastern coast will participate simultaneously in mock exercise. During it, disaster scenario simulating tsunami waves originating due to high-intensity earthquake near Andaman and Nicobar Islands causing massive tsunami along east coast of India was created.

Officials from all important departments such as Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), police, health, education, firefighting, Civil Defense, electricity, transport, public relations, etc. participated in the exercise. The exercise helped participants to get familiarise with their responsibilities, actions required and also helped them to evaluate their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for tsunami warnings.

Participants from 11 Pacific Island countries also observed exercise to take away key lessons and best practices for responding to disaster situation due to Tsunami.

Background

Tsunami is a highly devastating natural hazard, and requires rapid response. India’s eastern coast is susceptible to both floods and tsunamis. The eastern coast of India had faced the devastating tsunami in December 2004 that claimed around 230000 lives. The devastating tsunami in Indian Ocean was formed due to high-intensity earthquake with its epicenter off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.  It had affected lives and the natural environment in six countries in the region including India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Somalia and Thailand.

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Indian Railways installs Asia’s largest Solid State Interlocking system in West Bengal

Indian Railways has installed Asia’s largest Solid State Interlocking (SSI) system at Kharagpur in West Bengal. The system will enable station masters to set 800 different routes for trains in a matter of minutes.

Interlocking is a railway signal apparatus that prevents conflicting movements of trains through an arrangement of tracks such as junctions or crossings.

Key Facts

The cutting-edge SSI system technology was installed at a cost of Rs 39 crore. It replaces pre-1989 route relay system that only allowed operators to set maximum 423 routes. The new ensures that no cross-movement takes place.

The SSI software also detect routes particular train can take and inform station masters working at panel. This will help in bringing down operation time and possibility of human error. It will reduce the possibility of accidents.

The software is microprocessor-based and suggests possible routes to station master. Under this system, station master only needs to assign platforms depending on importance of the train, number of coaches and other parameters.

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