The Chief Minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, has announced that the state government will actively promote amateur radio (HAM) as a reliable communication tool for emergencies. He emphasized that this decision is rooted in the recognition of the necessity for an alternative means of communication during critical situations and natural disasters, especially when conventional infrastructure like phone lines and Internet services are severely disrupted. Moreover, the government plans to cover f the cost for the HAM equipment used for this purpose.
Chief Minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu highlighted the critical role of amateur radio in emergency communication, describing it as a lifeline when conventional communication methods such as wired lines and cellphones become ineffective. Amateur radio can transmit signals over long distances, enabling emergency responders to efficiently coordinate their actions during crisis situations. This initiative aims to ensure that essential information continues to flow even when other communication avenues are compromised, potentially saving lives and enhancing emergency response efforts. Sukhu stressed the importance of exchanging vital information among information sources, emergency management teams, and individuals affected by disasters during a crisis.
Notably, communication systems in areas like Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, and Kinnaur districts tend to fail during the monsoon and winter seasons. In such challenging circumstances, the promotion of HAM radio as an alternative communication method is expected to be incredibly valuable.
As part of this initiative, there is a proposal to have at least one HAM radio volunteer in each subdivision of the state. These volunteers will play a crucial role in establishing an alternative communication channel in the event of a disaster or emergency, connecting with state-level emergency operation centers and district-level emergency operation centers. To ensure the effectiveness of the program, these volunteers will be registered and granted licenses to operate HAM radios, and the state government will provide financial support to help them acquire the necessary equipment.