Mandi: Indian Institute of Technology Mandi signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kangra District Disaster Management Authority on Monday, January 31, 2022. The Memorandum of Understanding is for five years and both parties can extend it after mutual discussion.

The objective of the MoU is to develop and deploy 10 landslide monitoring and early warning systems (EWS) at selected sites based on site visits and analyzes of these sites in accordance with the analysis based on InSAR and in confirmation with the district administration. It will also help in the development of machine learning approaches to predict InSAR and EWS-based outcomes to generate prediction-based warnings.

In December, Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, reviewed the landslide monitoring and early warning system during his visit to Mandi. Shri Rajendra Arlekar, Governor of Himachal Pradesh also visited IIT Mandi for a discussion on landslide risk management and assured that the association between IIT Mandi and the government of Himachal Pradesh will play a pivotal role in preventing landslides in the state.

The MoU was signed between Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director, IIT Mandi, and Dr. Nipun Jindal, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Kangra District, in the presence of Dr. Kala Venkata Kala, Assistant Prof., IIT Mandi and Shri Rohit Rathour, HAS, Additional District Magistrate, Kangra, and other dignitaries.

Speaking about the MoU, Prof. Laxmidhar Behera, Director of IIT Mandi said, “Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi is in the business of solving problems in society. I am very happy to note that this project is a unique example of IIT Mandi’s mission to help solve the problems of Himachal Pradesh (landslides) while working with the District Disaster Management Authority from Kangra.

Roles and responsibilities:

IIT Mandi, will be responsible for all aspects of SAP deployment such as monitoring movement and weather parameters at deployment sites and generating site warnings with sirens and flashers where possible

IIT Mandi, will be responsible for generating SMS alerts where possible

IIT Mandi will provide faculty, staff and lab resources for SAP research and may use data from deployed systems for research purposes

DDMA will be responsible for providing funds for the development, deployment and maintenance of deployed SAPs, as well as other leaders marked in the project

· DDMA will take care of waterproofing the SAPs against theft by fixing them to the ground via cement/concrete-based pads

DDMA will be responsible for providing relevant stakeholders with receipt of alerts corresponding to each location

The objective of the MoU is the recruitment of manpower and finalization of sites according to InSAR imagery for landslide monitoring and early warning systems (EWS). The Institute will install two systems in the selected locations within the next three months from the day the project is launched. In the next phase, the Institute will have to install four other systems, preferably before the monsoons, and finalize the threshold algorithms based on the initial data acquisition. It will also refine any site-specific requirements for systems, including power, detection settings, data, and alert requirements.

Dr. Nipun Jindal, DC Kangra, expressed his joy to collaborate with IIT Mandi in the landslide early warning system to be deployed in Kangra district. He mentioned, “This will help reduce the number of lives lost due to landslides. Early warning will also allow DDMA to better prepare and be ready with mitigation measures.

Site locations shall be confirmed based on historical site evidence, slip or fall initiation and other locations according to satellite imagery, which shall be confirmed after site visits by representatives of both parties and additional approval from the district administration. All deployed systems will be maintained for five years from the date of installation in accordance with the terms of the project. Any other maintenance will require funds, as communicated by the relevant agencies at the time.

Kangra District Disaster Management Authority (referred to as ‘DDMA’), Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India – 176001, through its authorized officer, Deputy Commissioner as Chairman, is the nodal agency responsible for administering the geographical area of ​​Kangra district as the first part. .

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