Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Linkage established via HAM radio network during Election

Elections to the first tribal panchayat in the Kerala State, India, which is beyond the reach of any communication system, information on polling trend was established through HAM radio communication network. Polling began at Idamalakkudy in Idukki district on Monday, 25th October 2010 and 33 HAM operators, 28 stationed at Idamalakkudy and the rest at the collectorate, were busy in assessing the situation and passing messages to the district headquarters via HAM radio, The District Collector Ashok kukar Singh approached the Ham Radio Club as the district was experiencing intermittent failure in power supply and getting immediate connectivity through phone was tough. The facility was arranged by the office-bearers of the HAM Radio club, government employees and section of students in the district. All arrangements were made a day ahead of polling day and we received the messages at the collectorate on an hourly basis, Singh said.

Edamalakkudy, 38 km from Munnar hill station, has no motorable road, no power or communication network.

There are 700-odd families of Muthuvan Scheduled Tribe, which live in small settlements at Edamalakkudy, situated amidst dense forest.

To fill the communication gap at the village where even police wireless system fail to work, the administration has roped in ham radio operators. The private hams have put up a temporary station and posted operators at all 13 booths to hotlink the hamlet with Idukki district administration on the polling day.

To reach Edamalakkudy, one has to trek 18 km through dense forest, after alighting at Pullumudi, 20 km away from Munnar. Only four-wheel jeeps can climb the hills up to Pullumudi from Munnar.

The first batch of polling officials left Munnar on Saturday. After walking through forest along with armed police, HAM Radio operators and forest officials, the polling personnel would reach their destination safely. The polling staff has been furnished with medical kits, sleeping bags and special shoes for trekking. They have even taken a traditional healer to attend to snake-biting cases, if any.

No comments:

Post a Comment