In the wake of safety of trekkers, the Kullu police department has asked the state government to provide them with satellite phones and global positioning system (GPS). This would help the police during search operations for the missing trekkers in the hills of Kullu.
RS Jamwal, the additional superintendent of police stated, “We have sent a proposal of seven satellite phones and 24 global positioning systems (GPS) to the state government for the safety of trekkers in the district.” He further added by saying that, “Due to tough geographical conditions in the interiors, landline as well as mobile phones often does not work due to poor network. In the situation, satellite phone would prove an advantage to locate the location of trekkers.”
Jamwal further commented, “Lack of communication network and no other way to find the exact position of the missing trekkers has proved a biggest hindrance in carrying out effective search and rescue operations. Keeping this in mind, we have submitted a proposal to the state government to procure satellite phones and satellite-linked GPS.”
He was of the view that with the help of satellite phones and GPS, they can find the clues of missing trekkers who come to explore travel and tourism in India. As per Jamwal, the use of satellite phones was not allowed in Himachal Pradesh, but keeping in view the safety issues of trekkers it has been decided to fix a certain range of frequency of the satellite phones. He stated, “It will be used during emergency by the trekkers and no international call would be allowed. These phones would be allotted to the group on rent and only after depositing security.”
However, the use of satellite phones of commercial as well as personal use restricted in the country. Legally, only the defense forces and security agencies can use it in India. According to the data collected by Hindustan Times, since 1991, 20 international visitors have been missing during trekking expeditions at Naggar, Manikaran and Parvati areas. The serene Kullu valley contributes a lot to the tourism in India.