Himachal to get high-tech weather observatory

July 8th, 2011 - 8:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Shimla, July 8 (IANS) The India Meteorological Department will soon set up its high-tech observatory in the Himachal Pradesh capital to forewarn of natural calamities, an official said Friday.

“The state’s first weather centre with a high powered radar system will soon be installed in Jakhu hills that will have a aerial reach of 150 km,” Shimla meteorological office director Manmohan Singh told IANS.

He said the state government has earmarked two acres for the observatory.

“It may take a year’s time to set up the complete weather centre,” he said, adding the weather bureau will then be able to give specific area-wise warnings.

“At present, we could only say that a hailstorm or thundershowers is likely to occur. After the installation of high-powered Doppler weather radars, we will be in a position to forecast early warning of any natural calamity like cloudburst and flash floods,” he said.

“The radar has the potential to monitor and forecast the weather conditions every six hours with precision on time and area.”

According to government officials, the issue of land for the observatory had been hanging fire with the state government for more than five years.However, it all got expedited after the devastating Leh cloudburst last year.

Himachal Pradesh’s economy is highly dependent on horticulture, apart from hydroelectric power and tourism, with the annual fruit industry worth about Rs.2,000 crore.

According to horticulture department estimates, hailstorms damage 20-30 percent of vegetable and fruit crops in the state every year.

The new weather observatory would also help the farmers getting more updated weather bulletins.

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