The New Year will see the government starting work on a weather service catering specially to north east India, a move that will lead to significant enhancement of meteorological infrastructure in the region. Under the project, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) will procure 14 doppler radars for the region, a big leap from existing two at Agartala in Tripura and Mohanbari in Assam, and set up 270 surface observatories and eight microwave radiometers.
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The 19 heliports in the north east will also have dedicated surface observatories, a facility which is now missing.
M Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) said looking at the region’s diversity and requirement, a separate weather service for the north east was required.
“If you see the observations received from the north east are very scant in terms of data. The norm is that where the topography is hilly, it is necessary to have more observation systems.
“Plus, there is so much of heterogeneity of topography in the north east that it demands separate weather services and an infrastructure boost,” Rajeevan said.
The north east has a few RAdioSonde And RadioWind Observatories in comparison to the rest of the country. The RAdioSonde And RadioWind Observatories send a balloon in the air twice a day to check humidity, wind patterns and temperature.
Envisaged under the XII Five Year Plan (2012-17), the weather service was stuck in red tape as it was initially supposed to be funded by the Department of North East Region (DoNER). As funding has not come from DoNER for the last four years, the MoES has now decided to go ahead with the Rs 194 crore project.
Rajeevan said the IMD will start with procuring equipment from next year.
IMD Director General J J Ramesh said work is on to enhance meteorological infrastructure in the north west Himalayas.
A request for proposal (RFP) is also under process to have more doppler radars in north western Himalayas which cover the three states of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.