April 2, 2012

Goa's Chinese radar weathers defence storm

The meteorological department in the state is likely to install the same Chinese Doppler radar which was procured after the monsoon. Installation of the state-of-the-art Doppler radar - which was acquired at a cost of 5 crore two years ago - has been jinxed.
Installation of the sophisticated equipment - acquired to improve weather forecasting - was stalled after the defence ministry raised security concerns over the Chinese-made equipment.

It's installation in a coastal area like Goa had also unnerved defence officials.
The use of the radar is a sensitive issue in coastal areas as there are fears the equipment may be used by the Chinese to track naval activities. Ministry officials have in the past also raised objections to the purchase of telecommunications equipment from Chinese vendors fearing security risks.
K V Singh, director of the meteorological centre at Altinho, told TOI "The same (Chinese) radar may be installed. Discussions are going on (between the meteorological department and defence ministry officials)."
The radar has been lying idle at the weather observatory since its arrival from China in April, 2010.
Disclosing the reasons for the re-think, Singh said the Chinese-made radar is better than the alternative Bell radar.
One of the Bell radars, which had been installed in Mumbai is apparently not functioning properly.
Out of nine Doppler machines purchased to be set up in India, seven have already been installed.
The infrastructure for the installation of the radar in Goa is almost ready.
Singh said the radar is likely to be in place by the year-end if the necessary approvals are given.
"Installation of the radar before the monsoons is not feasible," he added.

Times of India

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