SRINAGAR: In a bid to enhance emergency preparedness and response in the regions of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, authorities are set to introduce a “safety messaging system” equipped with “warning sounds” and automatic readout alerts. This initiative comes on the heels of successful trials of Cell Broadcast Alert System (CBAS) carried out by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
The CBAS system is designed to capture public attention with high-pitched audio alerts, enabling rapid responses to various emergency situations. These scenarios encompass a wide spectrum of potential threats, including earthquakes, flash floods, militant attacks, epidemics, and law and order issues.
The primary objective of these new features is to deliver timely warnings, thereby mitigating potential loss of life and property. The system’s upgraded technical capabilities facilitate the immediate dissemination of disaster management messages to all mobile users within a specified area, significantly reducing the warning time.
The License Service Area (LSA) in Jammu and Kashmir has been chosen as the testing ground for this ambitious cell broadcasting initiative. The initiative aims to evaluate its effectiveness across diverse mobile operators and cell broadcast systems. This system can identify specific geographical zones and efficiently relay alerts to all mobile users within those areas, alerting them to potential hazards.
CBAS is an advanced technology that transmits crucial and time-sensitive disaster management information to all mobile devices within a designated geographical area, benefiting both residents and visitors alike. It plays a pivotal role in ensuring that emergency information reaches the widest possible audience, making it an invaluable tool for government agencies and emergency services.
Cell Broadcast technology is a widely used method for disseminating emergency alerts, including severe weather warnings, public safety announcements, evacuation notices, and other vital information.
Currently, the testing of this innovative messaging system is underway, marking the first time such trials have been conducted in the Jammu and Kashmir circle. The tests are being carried out by BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited), the primary service provider in the region. Importantly, BSNL has committed not to charge mobile users for this service, as it is fully managed by the disaster management setup and service providers.
According to A K Tripathi, an official from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the service is expected to receive an official launch by the Prime Minister once trials and testing are completed across the entire country.