India’s weather reportage began from this historical building in Pune
The officials stated that from a modest beginning in 1875, IMD has expanded its infrastructure for meteorological observations, communications, forecasting and weather services and it has achieved a parallel scientific growth.Updated: Aug 14, 2017 15:10 IST
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) is housed in a beautiful structure commonly known as the Shimla office. Shimla office is today a landmark of the city and is situated amidst a busy square at Shivajinagar. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the organisation was established in 1875 in Kolkata, with a branch in Shimla. The weather publication from Pune began in 1928.
The structure of Shimla office is similar to that of an ancient structure which was built on a 10 acre land. Officials informed that the IMD building at Pune has an observation clock tower which, by design, has a square cross section with diagonals aligned north-south and east-west.
According to IMD, Meteorology in India has been studied since ancient times. They stated that Kalidasa, in his epic Meghgoot, have elucidated seventh century mentions of the date of the monsoon over central India and traces the path of monsoon.
Speaking about the history of IMD, officials said, "A disastrous tropical cyclone struck Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1864. In 1875, the government established the India Meteorological Department, bringing all meteorological work in the country under a central authority."
They added that HF Blanford was appointed as the meteorological reporter to the government of India. The first director general of observatories was Sir John Eliot, who was appointed in May 1889 at Calcutta (now Kolkata) headquarters.
From Calcutta, that headquarters was later shifted to Shimla, then to Pune and later, finally to New Delhi.
The officials stated that from a modest beginning in 1875, IMD has expanded its infrastructure for meteorological observations, communications, forecasting and weather services and it has achieved a parallel scientific growth.
According to IMD officials, in the telegraph age, it made extensive use of weather telegrams for collecting observational data and sending warnings. Later, IMD became the first organisation in India to have a message switching computer for supporting its global data exchange. According to IMD, India was also the first developing country in the world to have its own geostationary satellite , INSAT for continuous weather monitoring of this part of the globe and particularly for cyclone warning.
First Published: Aug 14, 2017 15:09 IST