NEW DELHI: 35 new Earthquake observatories are planned to be set up across India before the year end. This is going to be a huge jump in enhancing India’s capacity of earthquake monitoring and related issues, considering the fact that while in the last 70 years, 115 such observatories were set up across the country, under the government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a quantum increase of 35 such new observatories has been planned.
This was stated by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO/DoPT, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in reply to a Starred Question in Lok Sabha today.
In an elaborate reply, the Minister explained that the National Centre for Seismology under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences is the nodal agency of Government of India for monitoring and studying earthquakes, in and around the country. For this purpose, a National Seismological Network (NSN) was set up, which consisted of 115 observatories across the country.However, considering the need for increased precision and more evidence based inferences, 35 new such Stations are being commissioned and will start functioning by December 2021.
Giving an update on this initiative, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the installation of these 35 new stations is already in progress. Meanwhile, it has also been planned that in the next five years, that is by March 2026, another 100 such Earthquake Observatories/Seismic Stations will be installed in order to further increase the detection capability of earthquakes throughout the country.
Dwelling on the technical aspects of the issue, the reply stated that the existing network is capable of recording any event of earthquake upto (Magnitude) M:2.5 and above in and around Delhi, M:3.0 and above for North Eastern Region, M:3.5 and above in Peninsular and extra-peninsular region, M:4.0 and above in Andaman region and M:4.5 and above in Border regions. It is also planned to strengthen the National Seismological Network (NSN) further to increase the detection capability of earthquakes.
Pertinent to mention that the first-ever such observatory in India was established way back on 1st December, 1898 at Alipore, Kolkata, immediately following the massive Shillong earthquake of 1897. Thereafter, several major earthquakes have taken place in the country and this calls for a considered scientific response. Meanwhile, the Modi government is also considering proper planning and implementation of pre and post disaster preparedness in the event of an earthquake and other such situations.