New Delhi, Jan 2 (PTI) To enhance the outreach of IMD for providing forecast and warning services, various steps are being taken which includes proposed introduction of mobile applications and a meteorological and communication package adapted from Turkey Meteorological services, the Earth Sciences Ministry has told a parliamentary panel.

The department-related standing committee was informed about this after it said that despite claims made by the ministry on advance warning for natural calamities, the end beneficiary of the system has not benefited by it.

The panel had recommended that the ministry identify the loopholes in the system and take all necessary measures to plug the same for providing forecast and warning services to all stakeholders.

The ministry, which had given its observations regarding ‘Cyclone Warning Systems – Cyclone Ockhi’, should also impress upon state governments to initiate immediate action on the warnings and take all necessary action so that the benefit of advance warnings reaches the ground level, it said.

In its action taken report, the ministry said,”In order to enhance outreach of India Meteorological Department (IMD) for dissemination of services and products following steps are being taken… In collaboration with the Survey of India, dynamic web hosting of various observational and model products in geo-spatial platform is being attempted.” The experimental product has been demonstrated by the service provider. After the web hosting, application products have been demonstrated by the service provider. After this web hosting, application products like mobile app will be attempted, it had said.

The 323rd report on action taken by ministry on the recommendations was contained in the 350th report of the department-related parliamentary standing committee on science and technology, environment and forest on Demands for Grants (2018-2019) of the Ministry of Sciences chaired by Congress leader Anand Sharma.

It further said the IMD has opened Facebook and Twitter accounts and the warning products are being updated regularly.

“METCAP PLUS (Meteorological communication and application package) is being introduced. It is a visualisation software (all observations including satellite, radar, AWS, conventional and NWP models ) adapted from Turkey Meteorological Service.

“It can work as a decision support system for the forecasters. It can help in preparing all types of forecasts starting from nowcast to short/medium range forecast. It can cater to aviation and non-aviation forecast. It can also be used for sector specific forecasts like cyclone forecast,” the ministry said.

It also said the World Meteorological Organization’s South Asia Flash Flood Guidance Centre will be started experimentally at IMD in New Delhi among a host of other steps it will take to enhance outreach.

The ministry also said the State Meteorological Centres of IMD in association with various state governments have been closely coordinating in issuing heat wave alerts to minimise public exposure and to provide due assistance to vulnerable people from sunstroke related incidents.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.