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Doppler weather radar project has failed to make much headway in Odisha

Odisha’s lone Doppler weather Radar (DWR) is hit by periodic breakdown, posing much hindrances in accurate weather prediction in natural calamity-prone coastal state.  

Following the commissioning of Odisha’s first Doppler Weather Radar in Paradip on November 21, 2015, the DRW has developed snags on several occasions forcing the meteorological authorities to depend on DWR at neighbouring Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh for weather updates.

Though Radar is effectively functioning in issuing foolproof weather alert, recurring technical snag has led to temporary breakdown of the weather forecast system.

The DWR worth Rs 29 crore was installed at strategic coastal location of Paradip. The breakdown of the system has been reported from time to time. The system crash however has been for temporary period. The Indian Meteorological Department has been appraised of recurring technical hitches, said IMD Odisha head, Sarat Kumar Sahu.   

It’s pertinent to note here that the minister of state for earth sciences in response to a question in Rajya Sabha recently admitted temporary dysfunctional state of four DWRs spread across the country that included the installed Radar at Paradip.

The temporary breakdown has now become much of a problem as we are receiving advance weather updates from neighbouring Vishakapatnam DWR. Besides breakdown period hardly lasts for a day, IMD Odisha chief Sahu said.

 The commissioning of Paradip Doppler radar has gone a long way in issuing foolproof weather alert. Since its commission in 2015 year, it continues to generate perfect weather data especially with regard to advance information about cyclones, storms, excessive rainfall, thunderstorms, hailstorm and cloudbursts, IMD officials said.

An IMD official however confided the Paradip DWR faces a technical impediment as it is still running without defence clearance. As DW R installed at Paradip is manufactured by a Chinese farm, the union ministry of defence had earlier expressed reservation on the Radar built by the hostile neighbour from security viewpoint, the official sources said.

Defence experts are expected to inspect the Radar at Paradip shortly to accord final clearance to the DWR, sources added.       

As Odisha is often exposed to the vagaries of nature’s fury, three more DWRs are getting readied for commissioning in Gopalpur, Sambalpur and Balashore .

The DWR at Gopalpur is expected to be commissioned very shortly. Construction and Radar installation exercise has already come to an end. The DWR would begin its operation after Rs 20 lakh cost the lightning arrester is installed at the station. 

The construction work of DWR building has almost come to an end in Sambalpur and Balasore. Once the Doppler Radars are dispatched to us by the union government, the stations would be commissioned. All these DWRs are equipped to monitor weather condition up to 500 km aerial distances. However these are capable of cyclone forecast in an aerial range of 250 KM distance, said IMD Odisha head, Sahu.  
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