A news item published in The New Indian Express (Chennai Edition).

Tuesday, November 2, 1999

Pros failed, Hams saved the day

New Delhi, Nov 1: No hightech satellite phones; not the emergency terminal activated by the Department of Telecommunications but a set of amateur radio communiacators saved the day for Orissa today.

When every government effort to restore communication seemed to be failing, a group of the volunteers belonging to National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR) finally made a breakthrough in the small hours of the Monday when they successfully established a contact with the Chief Minister's residence in Bhubaneshwar from Delhi.

At around midnight, the team of volunters, mostly students, succeeded in making it to Giridhar Gamang's residence in the State Capital from Hyderbad.

Within an hour, the Ham operators set up a temporary radio station at the Chief Minister's residence and started operations in the high frequency bandwidth.

Till evening about 50 important official messages had been sent across to Chief Minister's residence by the temporary station in Delhi.

"Our volunteers in Bhubaneswar will shortly disperse in the affected districts to establish communication," said Bharati Prasad, additional director of NIAR.

Courtesy - Davindar Kumar

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