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Photo: Mint

Telecom and data centre providers in Mumbai on high alert for cyclone Nisarga

Tropical storm ‘Nisarga’, which is headed towards the coasts in the western coasts of Maharashtra and Gujarat, is likely to intensify into a cyclone by late night and is expected to make a landfall close to Mumbai on Wednesday

MUMBAI : Telecommunications and critical infrastructure providers across Mumbai have mobilsed their resources and backup plans in anticipation of cyclone Nisarga.

Tropical storm ‘Nisarga’, which is headed towards the coasts in the western coasts of Maharashtra and Gujarat, is likely to intensify into a cyclone by late night and is expected to make a landfall close to Mumbai on Wednesday.

This would be the first cyclonic storm to impact India's financial capital since 1882. Mumbai is also among teh worst affected cities by the covid-19 outbreak with large parts under containment zones. A storm surge - as high as two metres above the astronomical tide - will inundate the low-lying coastal areas of Mumbai, Thane and Raigad districts during the landfall. It is expected that the storm may cause major damage to thatched houses, huts, power and communication lines and coastal crops. Following close on the heels of Amphan cyclone that hit the Eastern coast, providers are on high alert to prevent disruption of service in the financial capital of India.

In order to ensure telecom connectivity in Maharashtra, Mumbai and Gujarat, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) held a meeting with all the Telecom Service Providers, Infrastructure Providers, LSA’s, Tower & Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) and COAI.

TR Dua, Director-General, Tower & Infrastructure Providers Association said, “Our members have taken necessary steps to ensure connectivity 24/7 in the areas which are likely to be affected by the cyclone and all the background arrangements like additional diesel generator sets, battery banks, spare parts, stocking of diesel are taken care off. Our IP’s have also deployed additional rescue teams which are kept on standby mode for all major districts like to get impacted during Nisarga."

TAIPA have requested the Chief Secretaries and DoT for unrestricted movement for man and material for inter-state movement, arrangement of issuing E-passes and availability of diesel supply. Telecom providers and power companies have also mobilised staff and equipment to ensure service remains uninterrupted.

“Our data center can function at full load for 48 hours continuously, thanks to our diesel generators that are backed by 6 lakh litres of fuel in case of power outage due to a hurricane or a cyclone. Besides this, we also have water pumps that activate automatically in case of a waterlogging. Even if there is an incident of fire at any place in the data center, full power and cooling shall continue to the rack for at least one hour, even while fire may still be on," said Sunil Gupta, Managing Partner and CEO at Yotta Infrastructure that provides cloud data centre facilities for businesses.

The stock exchanges, financial companies and IT companies based out of Mumbai have also alerted their staff that their disaster recovery sites may need to be used in case their primary operation centres across Mumbai suffer any damage, according to industry sources.

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