Over a decade ago, HAM radio operators set up base in Sabarimala to help prevent disasters like the one at Pullumedu that claimed the lives of over a 100 devotees on makaravilakku day, last year.
Now the HAM Emergency Communication and Disaster Management Society (HECDMS) has set up control rooms at Sannidhanam, Pampa and the Idukki collectorate to ensure effective and speedy communication on Makaravilakku Day this year, which happens to fall on January 15.
HAM radio operators will provide round the clock service in remote areas like Parunthupara, Uppupara, Panjalimedu, Sathram and Pullumedu where devotees arrive in huge number to witness the Makaravilakku.
“Fifteen HAM radio operators will arrive here on January 14, a day before makaravilakku, and camp in different places around Sabarimala.
There will be control units at Sannidhanam, Pampa and Idukki. Our members will be on high alert and all important information will be relayed to the police and the control room,” says Manoj Galaxy, coordinator, HECDMS
“The Pullumedi tragedy could have been averted had there been active coordination and communication. This time, with our HAM service, we hope to make sure that there is no repeat of such an incident,” he adds.
HAM radios continue to have an edge even in this era of the Internet and mobile phones as they provide a wireless service that cannot be interrupted or cut off even in a massive disaster like an earthquake, tsunami or flood.
The mobile phone network, on the other hand, can get jammed as the cell phone towers have a limited capacity and are open to disruption.
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