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State mulls to enhance system to alert people up to grassroots level

State mulls to enhance system to alert people up to grassroots level
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Kolkata: The state government is taking measures to ensure proper and timely dissemination of information on the forecast of inclement weather including lightning strikes up to the grassroots level to avert loss of lives.

In the past three months, around 30 people were killed after being struck by lightning in districts including Bankura, East Burdwan, Jhargram, Murshidabad and Birbhum.

The state Disaster Management department is set to convene a meeting next week to chalk out a plan of action to further upgrade the

existing infrastructure for the same.

An official said that they are targeting to help people at the grassroots to enable them to get alerts on the inclement weather forecast so that they can move to a safe place before an untoward incident takes place.

"Mainly farmers fall victim to lightning when they work in an open field. So we would also urge officials of the state Agriculture department in a meeting to discuss how such information can be disseminated among them.

Because miking in an area is a time-consuming process to create awareness among people. We are looking for a mechanism so that alerts can be provided to people at the grassroots level, mainly in the rural areas, even with 20 to 30 minutes left for incidents like lightning to strike an area," said an official.

One-and-a-half-years ago, the state government had introduced a state-of-the-art technology in collaboration with a US-based company to predict lightning and generate alert messages at least one-and-a-half-hour ahead of it strikes at a particular location. But it used to send alerts up to the officials in panchayat level and peoples' representatives in the area.

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