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22 GPS-enabled observatories made operational by GSI to facilitate surveying

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Dion Global

05 Mar 2019

Twenty two GPS-enabled observatories across the country were made operational by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) on Monday to facilitate surveying related to geological and geo-physical mapping.

GSI Director General Dr Dinesh Gupta told a press meet here "this move (operational of 22 GPS observatories) would enable the country to delineate high seismic hazard zones as well as produce themaicm maps with high positional accuracy."

The 22 GPS-enabled centres were set up in GSI facilities in south, central, northen and eastern India.

He said while the 22 'GPS-Geodetic observatories' were operational from today (Monday), the 169th Foundation Day of GSI, another 13 observatories will be operational from March 2020.

Geodetic pertains to Geodesy, the science of measurement of the earth.

The GPS infrastructure consists of highly sensitive receivers installed in a dense network, operating continuously and monitored centrally, he said.

"These stations (observatories) will help identify active seismic zones," the top geologist explained.

The 22 GPS-enabled centres are at Kolkata, Jaipur, Pune, Dehradun, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Gandhinagar, Visakhapatnam, Agartala, Itanagar, Jammu, Shillong and Little Andaman among others.

The 13 more GPS-Geodetic observatories, to be made operational by March 2020, would be at Aizawl, Uttarkashi, Coochbehar, North Andaman, Middle Andaman, South Andaman, Ranchi, Imphal, among others.

Gupta said GSI is carrying out specialised studies in the domain of natural hazards such as quake by monitoring the active faults and determination of high-strain zones in earth's surface by attaining milimetre level accuracy in GPS.

To foster interest about Geology among the young generation and guardians, GSI has urged HRD ministry to introduce it as a separate subject in secondary and higher secondary curriculum, he said to a question.

"We will wish Geology as a separate subject, and not part of Geography, be introduced in the school syllabus of secondary/higher secondary boards/councils across India," Gupta said.

He said to create interest among students of higher educational institutions about earth science, 'Bhuvisamvad', a unique platform under the Ministry of Mines, was recently launched facilitating interaction of geo-scientists from GSI with students from different universities and colleges.

GSI has also signed an MoU with IIT Hyderabad and IIT (ISM), Dhanbad for collaborative research and awarding PhD degrees.

To a question, Gupta said GSI was setting up a warning system for landslides in sub-Himalayan West Bengal.

Another GSI official told reporters later, "While the process to install early warning system for landslides has already started by involving local communities and areas of that region (Darjeeling Hills), the entire set-up from top to bottom will be ready by 2020."

"The GSI will then be able to issue forecasts about landslides, zeroing on a specific zone, on the lines of IMD's area-specific highly accurate weather updates," the official added.