Extensive use of Telecom networks for cyclone warning
On 24th May and 25th May 2021, the Common Alert Protocol (CAP) of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT)/CDT was extensively used by State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) in West Bengal, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh to disseminate the cyclone alert messages free of cost. A total of more than 6 crore bulk SMS/messages were sent in local languages alerting local residents. Of these 3.87 crore were in West Bengal, 2.43 crore in Odisha, and 36.4 lacs in Andhra Pradesh.
In addition for the first time, Voice Alert Messages were also sent, facilitated by the Department of Telecommunications with the help of Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) using Outbound Dialler (OBD) infrastructure. More than 60 lakh subscribers were reached through OBD in local languages (36.5 lacs in West Bengal and 21.5 lacs in Odisha ). TSPs have undertaken this outreach activity free of cost.
The cyclone impacted districts are East Medinipur, West Medinipur, Bankura , South 24 Pargana and Jhargram in West Bengal and Balasore, Bhadrak ,Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj in Odisha
Review and Restoration action meetings at the level of Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, were held prior to the cyclone and also today in the morning and in the evening at 6 PM. In the aforesaid meeting, Telecom Service Providers ( Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone-Idea, and BSNL) and Infrastructure Providers (ATC, INDUS, ASCEND, Tower Vision, and Summit Digital) and their Association TAIPA participated. Regular feedback was also taken from senior officers of the state governments. Intra Circle Roaming (ICR) has been ordered by the telecom secretary in the following districts.
WB- East Medanapur, West Medanapur,Bakura, Jhargramand and South 24 Pargana
Orissa-Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsingpur, Kendrapara Jajpur, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj.
This will enable customers/ subscribers to latch on to whichever telecom network is available in their area without any extra cost. More than 1000 Optical fiber and restoration teams were stationed in districts likely to be impacted prior to the landfall of the cyclone.
Senior officers of BSNL were designated at the district level who coordinated with district collectors. Senior DoT officers and TSP functionaries coordinated with the State Nodal Officers at the State Capitals. The combined efforts of TSPs and Infrastructure Providers coordinated by the Department of Telecommunications have ensured that restoration of the damaged network has commenced and even the minimal outages in the telecom networks will be restored very quickly.