American Signal Corporation Finalizes Deployment for Statewide Tsunami Early Warning System in Tamil Nadu, India

American Signal Corporation Finalizes Deployment for Statewide Tsunami Early Warning System in Tamil Nadu, India
Mass notification network will serve as an early warning for 67.5 million citizens

American Signal Corporation
17 Apr, 2017, 12:05 ET

MILWAUKEE, April 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 3, 2017 at its corporate office in Milwaukee, WI, American Signal Corporation (ASC) met with systems integrator and joint venture partner, United Telecom Ltd (UTL), to review and finalize the deployment of a statewide tsunami early warning system, designed for the government of Tamil Nadu, India.

The design and development of this early warning system is funded by the World Bank. It will serve to protect more than 67.5 million people who reside in Tamil Nadu and the southern Indian Peninsula from the threat of another devastating Tsunami, as well as loss of life from annual flooding.

American Signal Corporation was specifically selected by the Government of Tamil Nadu to create an early warning solution, based on the company's experience with large-scale design and deployment of similar systems worldwide. Most notably, this deployment will mirror the features of ASC's national tsunami early warning systems in Thailand and Sri Lanka, which boast ease of use, industry-leading functionality, unparalleled product quality and proven success.

"We're pleased to be selected for this project based on our proven experience in this market and the systems we've deployed to a high level of effectiveness in other regions of the world," said Richard Roe, Vice President at American Signal Corporation. "Being trusted to create an early-warning solution that will benefit upwards of 68 million people is no small honor, and it's a realization of our company's mission: to save lives every day."

Activists flay proposed coastal zone notification

anisations and environmental activists, has, while condemning the “dilution” of the Coastal Regulation Zone 2011 under the proposed notification, flayed the move as one which “will not enhance coastal governance, but rather open up India’s coastline to further commercialisation”.

Probir Banerjee, convenor, NCPC, while rejecting the proposed notification of April 17, pointed out that while the CRZ itself remains to be implemented and enforced as per the letter of the law, the new notification further dilutes the CRZ 2011.

Added problems

Mr. Banerjee, who also represents the NGO PondyCAN, which as a member of NCPC, helped bring out the Challenged Coast of India report, expressed concern that easing the current regime would exacerbate existing problems of coastal governance and leave fisher communities who share collective claims to common spaces such as beach space, further marginalised.

“In a struggle between communities and short-term commercial interests, the existing power balance alone has meant that communities are often displaced or are left with heavily altered/restricted access to precious livelihood spaces. The proposed changes to the CRZ 2011 seem set to further marginalise and exclude these communities. A provision that allows communities to build houses is meaningless when all available space can be legally claimed by other, more-powerful interests,” he said.

Given that the NCPC engaged extensively with the review process of the Coastal Management Zone notification, and its members were instrumental in shaping some of the new provisions in the CRZ 2011, “we are shocked to see that the rules governing use of coastal land are proposed to be further eased”, Mr. Banerjee said.

Even now, Chennai's oil spill incident in January can affect larvae and juvenile fish

CHENNAI: The Chennai oil spill disaster is still unfolding. Though the issue with its massive ramifications has gone out of focus due to dramatic political developments in the State, the environmental damage it has caused and future threats it poses can’t be discounted, warn marine biologists.

The major worry now is the oil deposited on the seabed can harm larvae and juvenile fish during the current breeding season.

“This is the first litmus test for the Chennai coast. When the fishermen go back into the sea in June after the fishing ban is lifted, we would have a real sense of the extent of damage caused,” said RS Vasan, regional director, National Maritime Foundation.

Meanwhile, reliable sources in the Department of Environment (DoE) told Express that the State government has ‘finally’ formed a 13-member high-level expert committee to conduct an environment impact assessment study.

The committee has been given three months to file a consolidated report. The committee is headed by H Malleshappa, director, DoE, and the first meeting was held last week. Sources said the committee will also be finalising short-term and long-term restoration plans. Kamarajar Port, Chennai Port, IIT Madras, fisheries department, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), health department and couple of NGOs are on the committee.

Close to three months have lapsed since the massive oil spill has hit Chennai coast at 3:45 am on January 28 after two ships collided off Kamarajar Port coast in Ennore. Scientists at the Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management (ICMAM) Project Directorate in Chennai, who are analysing the ecological footprint of the oil spill, said it has affected over 230 km of State coast from Pulicat to Cuddalore as on date.

High Tide Line out of limits for several ecologically sensitive areas in Tamil Nadu

CHENNAI: In what might be a major error, the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) has allegedly left out large tracts of ecologically sensitive and tide-influenced wetlands in the state from within the boundary of the new High Tide Line (HTL). Activists fear this would allow widespread exploitation of the coastal area.

The NCSCM has marked the HTL along the entire Tamil Nadu coast using high-resolution aerial images from 2011-12. The data sets have been given to the Department of Environment, Tamil Nadu, which has examined them and contracted NCSCM to prepare the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP).

The 31st meeting of the National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA), on May 24 last year, had also concluded that the demarcation of the HTL by NCSCM was complete and quality checked.

However, the NCSCM HTL maps, accessed through RTI by the Coastal Resources Centre, show gross discrepancies and are different from what the Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) had created earlier.

Activists argue that HTL identified by IRS was closer to ground realities. But it has been ignored by NCSCM.

For instance, in Karungali in Thiruvallur district and Yedaiyanthittu Kazhuveli in Kanchipuram/Villupuram districts, the HTL has been moved several feet into the water body, reducing the area deemed protected by the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011. Thus, nearly 888 acres of developable real estate was created in the two locations.

The areas left out were salt pans, claims Pooja Kumar of the Coastal Resources Centre. Another example is the Adyar River in Chennai. The CRZ limits of Adyar Creek stops at the Foreshore Estate bridge, though IRS records tidal influence further downstream.

NCSCM maps do not account for the Tholkappia Poonga ecological park, which was created in 2008 after the IRS had collected their data. This clearly shows that the HTL demarcation has not been subjected to ground-vetting.

Press Release: Scientific Body’s High Tide Line for TN Wrongly Drawn to Create Real Estate: Coastal Activists

Chennai: Nearly 900 acres of tidal wetlands in two locations have been wrongly identified as land by the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) which got a multi-crore contract to demarcate the High Tide Line for Tamil Nadu under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011. This and other inconsistencies were revealed during a ground truthing exercise conducted by the Coastal Resource Centre (CRC). The erroneous demarcation shortchanges fisherfolk by showing tidal waterbodies as developable real estate.

The inconsistencies cast a shadow on NCSCM’s demarcation exercise and the robustness of the verification process by the State and Central Coastal Zone Management Agencies, CRC said. NCSCM’s High Tide Line cannot be relied upon for preparing the State Coastal Zone Management Plans.

NCSCM had denied access to these maps under RTI claiming that disclosure would prejudicially affect their scientific and economic interests. The maps were later accessed through the State Coastal Zone Management Authority.

“Public scrutiny of such foundation data sets is critical as this forms the basis of the CZMP. An inaccurate HTL can result in a flawed CZMP, and throw open ecologically sensitive areas for development,” said Pooja Kumar of the Coastal Resource Centre.