The Kerala government Saturday hired four private weather forecasters for a year and said it would use weather services and warnings issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) only for “comparison” ahead of issuing alerts.
In a sanction order issued by the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, weather services have been sought from Skymet, IBM Weather Company, Earth Networks and Windy. These firms have been granted permission to source appropriate weather prediction and monitoring tools on a pilot basis, initially for improving “extreme alerts” in Kerala.
A 10 per cent budget from the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) has been allotted towards procurement of services from these private agencies. The Kerala government has frequently been critical of the IMD, blaming the latter for not issuing timely weather warnings.
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