No doppler radars: Disaster management under weather


Bengaluru: In the backdrop of the recent natural calamity in Uttarakhand, which wiped out thousands of lives and displaced thousands more, there’s an urgent need to invest in science and technology to accurately predict and monitor extreme weather conditions in the state, which is prone to all weather-related hazards and disasters. 
A proposal to set up a Doppler Weather Radar system to predict accurately thunderstorms, cyclones, cloudbursts, droughts, floods and other fast-developing weather systems, has been pending before the government for the last four years for lack of funds. 
Though Karnataka has the highest density network of ground-level weather monitoring stations in the country, it does not have a DWR system, which gives the physical properties of cloud mass, moisture content, size of the droplets, direction of cloud movement and extreme weather conditions. 
“Unfortunately, we don’t have a single DWR system in the state. The proposal is to have a network of 11 DWRs, eight C Bands to predict weather conditions within a range of 150-250 km and three X Bands with a range of 40 km at an estimated cost of Rs 130 crore,” said Dr V.S. Prakash, director, Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre. 
“We have written to the state government and even to the Department of Science & Technology Centre, central government, asking them to help us put up a network on a 50 per cent cost-sharing basis, but there has been no response. We have brought it to the notice of the Planning Commission as well. Early weather warning and preparedness measures depend heavily upon science and technology inputs and require a different skill set all together,” he added.

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