ACAP Designs E-tags to Track Trekkers

0 Comments 4 Jan 2014 ADV

Amidst growing incidents of tourists losing their way, meeting with accident or failing victims to wild animal attacks while trekking via jungles, the Annapurna Conservation Area project (ACAP) has come up with new system to trace their activities throughout their excursions.

Billed as tourists tracking system (TTS), the new system enables the ACAP to keep close tab on tourists with the help of a small device that looks like a pen-drive.

The device, aptly named as an “e-tag” by the ACAP, self updates details of tourists on a computer system administered by ACAP. Even friends and family members of tourists, whether in Nepal or abroad, can log on to the system and see where their dear once have reached, provided that they have the code number of the e-tags concerned.

Tourist also may use e-tags to send SOS message to ACAP office if they lose way, meet with accidents or are attacked by wild animals or robbers. “It’s very simple,” said Mahabir Pun, member of the national Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) that administers ACAP. “Tourists, in case of emergency, just need to press the button of e-tags, we get signal and knew they are in problems. So rescue work can be carried out very fast.

“We believe the TTS could very useful,” mentioned Pun. “In the past, tourists would often lose their way in the forests. Some even would fall prey to animal’s attacks. Due to the lack of an effective system, we reached where and we can mobilize teams to rescue them.”

Pun, who won the Magsaysay award in 2007 by developing airless computer technology in remote villages, designed the TTS with the support from the Bangkok-based Asia pacific Tele-community. To get e-tags, tourists need to deposits Rs, 1,000 at the ACAP office before they set out for trekking. They can get back deposits when they safely return e0tags to ACAP office.

For the time being, e-tags work just inside the Annapurna sanctuary that includes places like Bire Thanti, Ghandruk, Pothana, pritam, Deurali and Shikha. “It is a six-month test period,” mentioned Pun. “If our plan works effectively, we can expand it everywhere too.”

As per Pun, e-tags transmit signals through relay-station that have been set up in different places of the Annapurna sanctuary.” A station receives e-tag signals are relays them to other stations,” added he. “We can set up more such stations in the coming days.”

Source: www.myrepublica.com, 04, JAN, 2014

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