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Enhanced networking to tackle disasters Thursday, December 13, 2001

AHMEDABAD: There is an urgent need to set up an institutional mechanism to enhance the use of space technology inputs in operational disaster management in the country, feel remote sensing experts.

They also emphasised on the need for networking to manage disasters. Experts from India and abroad were on Wednesday deliberating on the use of space technology to monitor and mitigate the impact of natural disasters .

They were participating in a three-day national symposium on 'Advances in remote sensing technology with special emphasis on high resolution imagery', organised by the Indian Society of Remote Sensing, which began on Tuesday.

The symposium which focuses on agriculture, environmental monitoring, coastal zone, watershed development amongst other issues was inaugurated by Gujarat Agricultural University vice-chancellor MH Mehta, who laid special emphasis on networking, citing examples from the January 26 earthquake.

Space Applications Centre director AKS Gopalan dwelt upon the advances made in the country with respect to sensors, image processing and applications.

ISRO professor George Joseph recounted the history of Indian Remote Sensing programme in his keynote address 'Journey from km to meter'. He gave a vivid account of Indian remote sensing programme that began with Bhaskara and has reached TES (Technological Experimental Satellite.)

Sessions on terrain evaluation, agriculture, environment and forests, coastal zone management, water resources, satellite oceanography and land use and soil were held.

It was felt that while satellites were deployed for tasks like monitoring, damage assessment and long-term relief, remote sensing helps prepare 'vulnerability' and 'hazard zonation maps'.

The geosynchronous and polar orbiting satellites that India has can help track cyclones and alert the coastal areas. Besides communication satellites are available for timely dissemination of early warning and real-time co-ordination of relief operations.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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