Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Friday envisioned the India Meteorological Department (IMD) playing a major role in the country’s crusade for climate preservation at international fora.
The Minister of State for Earth Sciences also said India is leading Asia in providing weather and climate services to South Asian, South-East Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
The impact of heat waves is increasing owing to climate change, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading the world in this area of concern, Singh said at an event to mark IMD’s 147th foundation day.
“The entire world is looking up to India and therefore, the action plan initiated by the IMD in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority is a great opportunity for us,” he said.
“The IMD is going to play a major role considering the position that India has undertaken under Prime Minister Modi as far as our crusade for climate preservation is concerned at international fora,” the minister said.
Severe weather forecast services being provided to many countries since 2016 has come a long way and proved handy to countries such as Nepal and Bangladesh in fighting severe climatic disasters, Singh said.
Referring to Indian Space Research Organisation’s SAARC Satellite, he said that in coming days, the IMD will reorient its weather and climate services in the “most modern way” to cater to global needs.
The accuracy of the IMD’s forecast is vindicated by the fact that many parents consult astrologers for wedding dates and finalise them based on the MeT department’s prediction, Singh said in a lighter vein.
“The IMD’s role is not confined to weather forecasts for travellers and those finalizing dates for auspicious occasions. It has now virtually, with its expertise and accuracy, become an important partner in vital sectors — particularly agriculture, health, energy, water and disaster management,” he pointed out.
Singh said there has been a 20 per cent to 40 per cent improvement in the accuracy of severe weather warnings by the IMD in recent years as compared to the previous five years and that it resulted in a significant reduction in the number of deaths due to heat waves.
The minister also virtually inaugurated a doppler radar each at Leh in Ladakh, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
IMD Director General Dr M Mohapatra said flash floods and urban flooding in recent years have posed new threats to society and the IMD has initiated adequate measures such as installing doppler weather radars in hilly areas of Western Himalayas and major cities.