How to get IMD data on extreme weather: BSNL set to lend a hand
The Odisha government has decided to resort to the traditional practice of planting palm trees on both sides of roads, farmlands and forest boundaries as a measure to check casualties due to lightning.
The Odisha government has decided to resort to the traditional practice of planting palm trees on both sides of roads, farm lands and forest boundaries as a measure to check casualties due to lightning. In a letter to forest officials, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests D Swain said palm trees are good lightning conductors.
He ordered for a massive plantation drive across the state, which, on an average, witnesses 400 lightning fatalities every year. “Lightning usually hits the tallest object first. This palm tree, which is tallest, will work as lightning conductor, decreasing the death toll,” the letter explained.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is teaming up with state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to send extreme weather warnings to people, a senior Ministry of Earth Sciences official said.
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The move comes after the IMD came under criticism from several quarters, including some state governments for not sending out specific alerts, a charge denied by the weather body.
The IMD is trying to team up with BSNL to push the alerts to common people. The BSNL has come up with a technology. If the IMD sends an alert, they will pass it on to all BSNL numbers in Delhi (about an impending extreme weather event warning like thunderstorm, dust storm, heatwave), M Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences said.
The area specific alerts will be sent to users if they are in that particular place where the extreme weather pattern is going to occur, even if their phone numbers do not belong to that particular telecom circle. For instance, a BSNL user has travelled from Pune to Delhi, where an extreme weather event is forecast. The user will still get the message, Rajeevan said.
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The exercise is being carried out on an experimental stage, and if successful the plan is to rope in other weather agencies as well, the official said.
The Prime Minister’s Office had recently asked the weather body to advise people on the action they need to take when it issues severe weather warnings.
Source: DNA India