| Construction work is on in full swing for the Doppler radar project. Telegraph picture |
Paradip, Oct. 31: ‘Made-in-China’ label has put a question mark on the high-tech Doppler radar station proposed to be set up at Paradip.
The radar would help generate accurate weather data, especially advance information about cyclones, storms and cloudbursts. It was scheduled to have become operational from November but the defence ministry is reported to have objected to its Chinese make on security grounds. The ministry has sought its replacement with an indigenously manufactured radar.
An official of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said, “We have been asked not to install the China-made radar till further orders.”
“Construction work for the radar station is on in full swing. Earlier, it had been decided to install the state-of-the-art Doppler radar by December 2010. But we have been asked wait for sometime as the radar here would be put to scientific tests,” said G.V. Prasad, chief of Paradip metrology station.
However, sources said the radar project had been grounded following objections raised by defence officials on security grounds. Since the radar dispatched to the Paradip metrology wing is manufactured in China, security concerns are being raised. It is feared that the in-built chips in the radar might help pass on vital information to the manufacturing country.
“As far as I know, the Paradip Doppler radar station is awaiting clearance from ministry of defence and ministry of science & technology. We are expecting the ministry’s clearance shortly,” Prasad told The Telegraph. However, no formal information in this regard had been received.
“The IMD radar station at Mumbai had also faced defence-related problems as the Doppler radar was made in China. But we don’t know whether the delay in the installation of the radar at Paradip is on the same account,” Prasad said.
“There is no official communication on the China-made Doppler radar and the defence concerns over its installation at Paradip. Some clearance related issues have led to the delay,” said Sarat Kumar Sahu, state chief of the IMD.
The Doppler radar station would be of great use to the natural calamity-prone Orissa coast as it would make accurate forecast about the changing weather pattern, cyclone, storm and cloudbursts. It could also help predict wind speed and direction three hours before it hits the coast, said the Paradip meteorology station chief.
Since Paradip and its adjoining areas witness low pressure formations and depressions frequently, Doppler radar would serve the region by making accurate forecasts.
Sources said damage to life and property on the Paradip coast would have been much less in the past if such a facility had existed there.