The Indian subcontinent has a tropical climate and unstable landforms. India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are prone to natural disasters of various kinds on a continual basis. Coupled with high population density, poverty, illiteracy and lack of infrastructure, the natural disasters kill thousands of people and leave a devastating impact on economy and environment.
The importance of telecommunication in disaster management has been widely accepted since the early days of the development of radio communication. Disasters can strike without warning at any time of the day or night. On the Indian subcontinent, the pressure from population increase and over-exploitation of resources for haphazard development has disturbed the ecological balance, in turn causing degradation of the natural environment, deterioration of the ecological system, and widespread destruction of the natural resources on which human life and well-being depend. As a result, most of India's 26 states (or provinces) are disaster prone.
Technologies, particularly in the telecommunication field, can help minimize disaster losses as well as the very scope of the disasters. The suffering and loss of human life is highest in remote rural areas due to lack of basic infrastructure and poor, or non-existent, disaster management plans. Within India, two-thirds of the population lives in rural areas where telecommunication facilities are scarce. Of 600,000 villages, 45% do not have any telecommunication services at all. Therefore, the state governments are planning their own communication networks as part of disaster management plans.
Disaster management is the discipline of dealing with and avoiding risks. It is a discipline that involves preparing for disaster before it occurs, disaster response (e.g. emergency evacuation, quarantine, mass decontamination, etc.), as well as supporting, and rebuilding society after natural or human-made disasters have occurred. In general, any
References: 1. Background Paper on the Maharashtra Disaster Management Plan, prepared by Government of Maharashtra. 2. Maharashtra Government Contract No. EQR: 1098 / CR-5 / ERC-4 Awarded to M/s Global Wireless Technology Limited, Pune, India. 3. http://www.gsi.gov.in/quake.htm 4. http://www.karnatakafireservices.gov.in.