Gurugram’s second weather station may come up at HUda City Centre Metro stationUpdated: Feb 10, 2020 23:55 IST
The city, along with 12 others in Haryana, will soon be equipped with a new automatic weather station (AWS), proposed to be set up at Huda City Centre Metro station. The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) on Monday wrote to ask the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) permission at the behest of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), which is expanding its network of weather stations in the state.
The proposal to set up new weather stations in Haryana is being undertaken under a NITI Aayog program to enhance public information systems for tourism and pilgrimages. Other cities that will get new AWS systems include Faridabad, Kurukshetra, Panchkula, Panipat, Sonipat, Jhajjar, Yamunanagar, Hisar, Ambala, Karnal, Kaithal and Sirsa. All these cities serve as important transit hubs in the region.
The IMD, via the State Department of Revenue and Disaster Management, had informed the deputy commissioner, Gurugram, of the proposal in August last year. “It is intimated that the IMD is planning the installation of AWS and Outdoor Display Systems at prominent places under the flagship programme of NITI Aayog for the development of tourism and pilgrimages and also to facilitate weather and climate information to tourists (sic),” states the letter, dated August 8, a copy of which has been seen by Hindustan Times.
On January 9, after the finalisation of a location by an IMD team, the deputy commissioner forwarded the letter to the GMDA, whose urban environment division is presently coordinating the matter. “It is intimated that the Huda City Centre Metro station, Sector 29, Gurugram site has been selected for the purpose of installation of AWS (sic),” says the deputy commissioner’s letter, a copy of which has also been seen by HT.
Rajbir Singh Bondwal, advisor (urban environment), GMDA, said, “We are in favour of the proposal. However, as the Huda City Centre Metro station is not maintained or owned by the GMDA, we have sought permission from the DMRC and are awaiting their response.”
A DMRC spokesperson said they would not be able to comment without first perusing the GMDA’s letter. Bondwal added that the upcoming AWS would be the second in Gurugram (one already exists at the National Institute of Solar Energy, Gwal Pahari) and the first one to be located in the heart of the city. The distance between the two monitors is 11.5km. He added that, along with the AWS, an outdoor display system would relay realtime weather data for commuters at Huda City Centre.
According to Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the regional forecasting centre, IMD, Huda City Centre was chosen “by an expert team after field inspections.” He explained that to qualify as a location for setting up an AWS, a particular site must conform to certain criteria. These include an open space of at least 10 square metres, continuous electricity supply, adequate security to prevent theft of the AWS equipment, and Internet communication.
“We also have to ensure that there are no high-rise buildings very close to the AWS equipment because they can interfere with readings of temperatures, wind speed and so on. The Huda City Centre Metro station provides adequate open space and we will be able to record valuable and accurate data there,” he continued, adding that “The IMD is taking efforts to expand its network for AWS systems in Haryana and as well as Delhi-NCR, which will help us make better predictions. More AWS systems mean richer data, which means more accurate forecasting,” he explained.
With these 13 news AWS systems, Haryana’s total number of weather stations will come to 33. The IMD had, in 2012, installed 20 AWS across the state, to relay accurate, hourly temperature, humidity, and rainfall updates. However, the majority of AWS are presently not functional. Hindustan Times had reported, on December 3, 2019, that the IMD’s AWSes in Haryana, meant to transmit hourly weather data, had not been functional for at least four months.
An AWS consists of a thermometer for measuring temperature, an anemometer for wind speed, a wind vane for wind direction, a hygrometer for humidity, a rain gauge for measuring rainfall and a data logger to collect this information and store it. This data is relayed to AWSes through satellites. A battery stores the energy generated from the sensors and the solar panels on the AWS to send the data.
The IMD has 576 such AWSes installed across the country—a plan that was initiated in 2007 to augment the surface meteorological network of the department, data on the website states.