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LAHORE: The Secretary Aviation has directed Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) to finalize sites for the installation of automatic weather stations by 10th of October, said sources.

They said a letter has been dispatched to the PDM, urging the concerned authorities to interact with the agriculture, irrigation and railways departments for the site selection, meeting the requisites for setting up the stations.

It may be noted that the federal government has decided to install 300 automatic weather stations at tehsil level throughout the country to enrich meteorological data and avoid the vulnerabilities of climate change. Besides, three radars would also be set in the cities, including Lahore and Sialkot.

Reliable sources said the World Bank would provide $60 million funds for the purpose and the ministry of climate change would supervise the project in collaboration with the Aviation Authority of Pakistan and its allied departments throughout the four provincial governments.

The sources said Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman has been actively pursuing the matter with the World Bank in order to ensure the availability of stations before the next general elections. Meanwhile, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has donated limited number of stations for the Punjab, Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan.

According to the sources, survey teams of PMD will submit the longitude and latitude details of the sites at tehsil level in order to proceed ahead as the federal government is planning to complete the project by the end of current year.

It may be noted that not a single observatory is available at the district and tehsil levels throughout the country, leading the devastating impacts of floods and rains. In Balochistan, they said, the situation is even more pathetic due to the non-availability of observatories and gauges in nullahs to gauge rain accuracy during the monsoon. There is a general understanding in government circles that ground stations are more urgent to deal with the situation against radars, they added.

The project would also be a blessing for the agriculture sector, as many essential food staples are hit hard by floods and rains every now and then, putting the livability of some 240 million population of the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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