The Tamil Nadu government is teaming up with IBM to arm itself with information technology tools to tackle weather-related calamities. The state, which had witnessed extreme flood situations in Chennai last year, will establish an innovative, cloud-based intelligent operations command centre to ensure it can respond better to disruptive, extreme weather events, with the help of IBM.
The IBM Intelligent Operations Center for Emergency Management will be located in Chennai, and is designed to help mitigate the devastating impact of natural disasters, including annual monsoon-related flooding. The centre, under an IBM grant programme, will use the technology company’s cloud, analytics technologies and services.
“IBM’s impact grant to Tamil Nadu—one of 400 grants we will award this year—demonstrates our corporate commitment to providing innovative analytics, mobile and cloud technology that can assist at all phases of disaster, help governments in India address future disasters, and best meet the needs of its citizens.” said Amit Sharma, chief operations officer, IBM India, in a statement.
With an estimated market value of $2 million, the IBM impact grant to the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA) comes with two years of technical and operations support, including an IBM-led transition team. Tamil Nadu is one of the few states in India to have set up a State Wide Area Network and State Data Centre. Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA), as a state nodal agency, has been formed to support and drive all e-governance initiatives of the state.
The new cloud-based centre will enable Tamil Nadu to pool time-sensitive data from various sources, including weather forecasts, current conditions, and historical data from The Weather Company, an IBM Business, to help track and gauge weather patterns as early as possible. The centre will collect power, traffic, health service, and shelter information from municipal sources, and display the current data on a map shared by multiple government agencies. All processing and analysis will be conducted at IBM’s cloud data centre in Chennai.
IBM analytics will help the city predict where storms are likely to strike and their potential effect on infrastructure, including utilities, roads and canals, as well as personal and public property. The centre will also analyse potential situations and outcomes, and provide guidance for optimal response to help officials prepare for and deliver needed resources more quickly and effectively. City and state agencies can use the data to better coordinate responses and deploy resources quickly while emergency personnel and first responders will be able to report disaster conditions on the front lines with greater ease.
With this, public works officials will be able to assess the potential impact of rising water in a local canal and effectively coordinate with agencies to deploy emergency resources when water is released into an adjoining waterway. The solution can show water flow at current and projected rates, including waterways, reservoirs and flood areas.
Meanwhile, as part of its e-initiatives, the Tamil Nadu government has proposed to offer cloud-based services such as web hosting on a self-service mode for the benefit of emerging young entrepreneurs and students at nominal cost. This project aims to offer infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) through cloud computing environment to the students and entrepreneurs. The services offered include servers and storage for computerisation software platform including the application deployment environment such as application server, database server, web server, application development environment and custom-made applications based on requirements. A memorandum of association has been signed between Tamil Nadu and Microsoft for provision of ‘Microsoft Azure Cloud’ services to a maximum of 100 students and entrepreneurs for a period of three months.