Speed up IMD modernisation: Sibal

Speed up IMD modernisation: Sibal

Addressing the 136th Foundation Day function of the IMD, Sibal said he had sanctioned plans for modernisation of the weather office when he was a minister during UPA-I.
"If we take six years to set up two Doppler Weather Radars (DWR), we cannot have a world class weather observation system," he said.

As per the first phase of modernisation plans, the weather office was to set up a network of 12 Doppler Weather Radars across the country by December 2010.

DWRs have an edge over other weather radar systems as they can accurately estimate an approaching storm's centre and intensity and also find its position and predict the path.

In addition to DWRs, the IMD had also planned to set up a network of Automatic Rain Gauges and Automatic Weather Stations, the targets for which have not been achieved so far.

Sibal voiced his displeasure saying the targets have not been achieved by the IMD on DWRs, rain gauges and automatic weather stations.

"You have a system without critical observational data," he remarked.
Sibal said the needs of the Department in the 21st century would be unique and IMD has to restructure itself to meet the requirements.

The minister also stressed on IMD setting up special purpose vehicles to provide specific weather solutions to various sectors of the industry.

Sibal also asked the weather office to put in place observation systems by 2014, chalk out a national meteorological policy, motivate the youth to take up weather forecasting as a career and make efforts to offer customised weather services.

In May 2008, the IMD had awarded the contract to build and install 12 DWRs to a Chinese company Beijing Metstar Radar Co. Ltd.

However, its plans to install radars in a couple of cities including Mumbai went awry as the Navy objected to Chinese radars, fearing it would give access to Chinese engineers to high security installations. The Radar in Mumbai was to be installed at Navy Nagar.

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