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Sikkim Turns to ISRO for Lake Safety Amid Calamities

Sikkim Turns to ISRO for Lake Safety Amid Calamities

Sikkim ISRO Lake Monitoring

Gangtok – October 17, 2023 – In the wake of recent natural disasters, the Sikkim government has reached out to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for critical assistance in monitoring the region’s vulnerable lakes. The request specifically seeks ISRO’s support in providing satellite surveillance for South Lhonak Lake and Shako Chu Lake, both of which have become potential sources of concern due to recent calamities.

A Virtual Meeting of Urgency

Sikkim’s Chief Secretary, V. B. Pathak, held a pivotal virtual meeting with Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Monday, addressing pressing concerns in the aftermath of natural disasters that have struck the state. Among the key issues highlighted during the meeting was the severe telecommunications disruption that has significantly hampered rescue and relief operations.

Restoring Communication Links

Efforts are underway to restore crucial communication links in the region. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), in collaboration with the army, has devised a plan to deploy five Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) units and technicians via helicopter to strategic locations including Lachen, Lachung, Chungthang, Chatten, and Theng. This initiative aims to swiftly reestablish communication networks vital for coordinating disaster response efforts.

Also Read: Sikkim Floods: Airlifts and Evacuations Ensure Safety in Lachen and Lachung

Concerns Over Flooding Impact

Chief Secretary Pathak expressed deep concerns about the extensive damage caused by flooding, with particular emphasis on the destruction of the Army Ammunition Depot at Munshithang, situated above Chungthang. The overflow from this disaster has led to the Teesta basin being inundated with weaponry, ammunition, and explosives, posing a substantial risk to the local population. Additionally, this has complicated the already challenging task of debris and sludge removal, especially in residential areas along the riverbanks.

Proactive Disaster Preparedness

In response to these complex challenges, the Sikkim government has proactively engaged with the Chairman of ISRO, seeking satellite surveillance over South Lhonak Lake and Shako Chu Lake. This forward-thinking approach aims to monitor these bodies of water closely, identifying any potential activities that could trigger another catastrophic event. By doing so, the region aims to enhance its disaster preparedness and response capabilities, safeguarding the well-being of its residents.

As Sikkim continues its efforts to recover and fortify its defenses against future disasters, collaboration with organizations like ISRO becomes instrumental in ensuring the safety and resilience of the state.

Gangtokian Web Team, 10/10/23

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