Mandi : The Indian Institute of Technology Mandi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) Mandi on 8th February 2022. The purpose of the MOU is to work towards the development of Landslide Monitoring and Early Warning Systems at certain sites.
An MoU had been previously signed between IIT Mandi and DDMA Kangra under which 10 Landslide Monitoring and Early Warning Systems (EWS) will be developed and deployed based upon site visits and analysis of these sites as per InSAR- based analysis and in confirmation with the District Administration.
Professor Laxmidhar Behera, who recently took charge as Director of IIT Mandi, signed the MoU with DDMA Mandi with Shri Arindam Chaudhary, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Mandi, in the presence of Shri Rajiv Kumar, Additional District Magistrate, Mandi, Shri Jatin Lal, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mandi, and Shri Rajeev Kumar, District Resource Officer.
The Landslide Monitoring and Early Warning System device have been developed by Dr. Varun Dutt, Associate Professor in the School of Computing and Electrical Engineering, and Dr. K.V. Uday, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering, IIT Mandi.
Speaking about the MoU, Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director, IIT Mandi, said, “IIT Mandi is delighted to partner with the State Government to address the issue of landslides through this innovation of landslide monitoring systems installed in critical sites. The system has also been recently reviewed by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during his recent visit to Mandi. I will personally oversee the progress of this project. IIT Mandi will work towards a robust technology solution to make this innovation one of its kind.”
Further, Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, added, “We have robust data analytics with us on landslides, and it shouldn’t fail in any situation. When we give any technology, we will strive to make it the best and useful for the benefit of Himachal Pradesh.”
Shri Arindam Chaudhary, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Mandi, spoke about the Landslide Monitoring and Warning System, saying, “Saving human lives is a matter of utmost concern, and this alert system will allow the administration to evacuate people more efficiently. The State of Himachal Pradesh invests extensively in addressing landslides and road-related issues and this initiative will be useful in protecting lives.”
Shri Rajiv Kumar, Additional District Magistrate, Mandi, emphasized the need for a full-proof evacuation system during the MOU and suggested increasing the warning range for this system in future will be 1.5 to 2 hours, which will be useful for timely evacuation.”
Landslides are currently predicted 10 minutes before they actually occur by monitoring changes in soil movement. The Landslide Monitoring System developed by IIT Mandi provides soil movement alerts via hooters and blinkers mounted on the road and dispatched remotely via text message. Also, the system sends rainfall alerts if more than 5 mm of rain is forecast.
Deputy Commissioner Mandi requested a solution to protect these warning systems from theft or mischievous conduct during a discussion on possible collaborations with the Institute. Additionally, he asked the Institute to develop low-cost processing units for cereals such as corn that are healthy and easy to procure.
The IIT Mandi Director has also suggested sharing a low-cost and improvised ropeway in small villages in Himachal for easier transportation.