Thursday, June 02, 2016
While 3 years have passed since the Doppler Radar System purchased at a cost of 50 million rupees to improve weather forecasts, was rendered in-operational, no steps have been taken as yet to undertake repairs. The Doppler Radar System enables meteorologists to make more accurate predictions regarding areas that will experience rainfall, the intensity and duration of rainfall.
While the radar system conceptualized in 1842 by Christian Doppler, later evolved and was established in many countries, Sri Lanka only adopted the technology in 2011. The system was purchased at a cost of 50 million rupees from an American company and was established on the peak of the Gongala mountain in Deniyaya. It is claimed that the system was rendered in-operational even when it was being set up, due to a technical fault.
5 years later, in the present day, no steps have been taken as yet to repair the system.
It was expected that this radar system would also be able to provide weather data for neighboring countries including India, the Maldives, Thailand, Malaysia and Pakistan. Incidentally, on the 29th of January this year, the 50 million rupee Doppler Radar System, which was abandoned with the excuse that a technical fault had caused it to become in-operational, fell prey to thieves.
What is evident through all of this is that, the people of Sri Lanka who do not have access to advanced meteorological technology, must rely on the website of the Met Department for information on the weather.
However, the website too is not conducive for the rapid dissemination of information.
While weather updates and forecasts are provided real time in the rest of the world, in Sri Lanka, weather forecasts are only made twice or thrice in a twenty four hour period.