JAGATSINGHPUR: The tall claims of the State Government to strengthen weather forecasting network in calamity-prone districts before the rainy season have fallen flat. Though it has been almost two weeks since the monsoon marked its onset, there are no signs of the Manual Surface Observatory and Early Warning Dissemination Systems (EWDS) which the Government had promised to instal in disaster-prone Jagatsinghpur district.
It is alleged that negligence of Government officials and the construction agency has led to the delay.
The Government had decided to instal EWDS at 12 places in 27 villages of the district which are identified as tsunami-prone areas. The surface observatory was to be set up at the district headquarters town.
Jagatsinghpur is a district which bears the brunt of natural calamities every year. Considering the district’s vulnerability to disasters, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had proposed to instal a Manual Surface Observatory in Jagatsinghpur as well as other coastal districts.
After IMD signed an MoU with the Revenue and Disaster Management department for the purpose, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) in April last year had asked the district administration to provide land for the observatory.
Similarly, L&T company, the construction agency, had conducted a survey and identified 12 places to instal EWDS in September last year. However, though 10 months have passed, not a single system has been installed in the district. The systems would be installed at two places under Paradip Municipality, seven in Erasama and three in Balikuda block.
Contacted, Deputy Collector, Emergency Satyanarayan Das said, “As per the direction of SRC, the administration had identified land last month for installation of the observatory. However, no progress has been made on its installation.’’ Similarly, platforms have been erected and generators installed for EWDS . However, installation of the systems has not been completed yet, Das admitted.
The meteorological observatory, which is manually operated by IMD staff or trained experts, measures specific and detailed weather parameters like temperature, wind speed and humidity as well as cloud coverage. This system helps in making better weather forecast daily and issuing severe weather warnings.
Similarly, the EWDS helps in communicating tsunami and cyclone warnings to coastal population directly from the State Headquarters.