Finally, Uttarakhand may get Doppler radars to predict extreme weather phenomenon
Dehradun: Installation of Doppler radars – highly specialized weather forecasting systems – continues to elude Uttarakhand, even four years after a rain-induced disaster left over 5,000 dead and thousands displaced in the hill state.
Now, a team of senior officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) would visit the state next week for inspecting the locations that have been shortlisted for setting up the Doppler radars and discuss the matter with the state government.
Bikram Singh, director of the Dehradun Meteorological Centre, confirmed that a team of officials from the IMD headquarters was scheduled to visit Uttarakhand on May 14 to inspect the sites.
“On May 14, the team will inspect two sites, one near Surkanda and another near Mussoorie, in Dehradun and Tehri districts, respectively, for the (installation of) Doppler radars. The next day, the team is likely to hold a meeting with state government officials,” Singh told Hindustan Times Tuesday.
Doppler radars help make precision forecasts related to extreme weather events by gathering real-time data.
It is worth recalling that in May 2014 – nearly a year after the June 2013 disaster -- the then chief secretary Subhash Kumar had held talks with the IMD officials where it was decided that the latter would install three radars in the state on land provided by the Uttarakhand government. However, no progress took place on the ground.
Sources said that the disaster management department sent repeated reminders to the IMD, but to no avail. “Now that the IMD team is visiting, our priority will be to ensure that the radars are installed in Uttarakhand soon,” state disaster management secretary Amit Negi said, adding that the IMD had been sanctioned funds by the Union ministry of earth sciences for the project this year.
Asked about the delay, Dehradun MeT Centre director said that “at least one of the three proposed Doppler radars would get installed in Uttarakhand within this year” after completion of all the technical details and formalities.
He added that the installation of Doppler radars was a part of the ministry’s Integrated Himalayan Meteorology programme to improve weather forecast services in the Himalayan states of the country. The project is roughly pegged at around ₹1100 crore.
Last year, a top IMD official during his visit to Dehradun had said that installation of Doppler radars in Uttarakhand and other states had been held up owing to lack of funds.
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