Met department to showcase Ham radio for Bengal fishermen

Benefits of amateur radio (Ham radio) will be showcased for West Bengal's fishermen community in a bid to ensure severe weather warnings reach them timely when they are stationed in deep seas, an official said Monday.

Kolkata: Benefits of amateur radio (Ham radio) will be showcased for West Bengal's fishermen community in a bid to ensure severe weather warnings reach them timely when they are stationed in deep seas, an official said Monday.

Experts at the regional meteorological department will facilitate a demonstration of the technology to the fishermen at one-day meet in Digha Dec 12, with the help of Bengal fisheries department and West Bengal Radio Club (Amateur Club).

"We are trying to introduce the benefits of Ham radio to the fishermen and the state government officials as an alternative way of communication," Devendra Pradhan, deputy director general of meteorology (eastern region), regional meteorological centre, Kolkata, told IANS.

"If the state government decides to go ahead with it, then Ham could be used to effectively transmit warnings to the fishermen, sailing in the deep sea, about 200 km away from the sea shore," he said.

Ambarish Nag Biswas, a licenced amateur radio operator and founder of the club, and two of his colleagues, will explain the technicalities to the participants to apprise them of how the high frequency (HF) radio waves can be successfully used for direct, long-distance communications in inclement weather.

"We will show them how to use the Ham radio to communicate with the authorities as well as with each other during severe weather conditions and explain the process of procuring licenses," Biswas, whose club is headquartered at Sodepur High School on the outskirts of Kolkata, told IANS.

He was part of the three-member team that helped in communication during the cyclone Hudhud relief operations in Andhra Pradesh.

Biswas said currently the fishermen use very high frequency (VHF) radio waves (ideal for short-distance terrestrial communication) for such transmissions.

"Our agenda will be to persuade the state government officials to switch from the current VHF to HF," he said.

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