The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has teamed up with state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to send extreme weather warnings (alerts) to people. The alerts will be about impending extreme weather conditions such as thunderstorms and heatwave.
BSNL and IMD will send area-specific alerts to users if they happen to be at place likely to experience extreme weather conditions, even if their phone numbers do not belong to that particular telecom circle. The exercise is being carried out in an experimental stage, and if successful Ministry of Earth Sciences plans to rope in other weather agencies also.
The move comes after IMD came under criticism from several quarters, including some state governments for not sending out specific alerts. Government weather forecasting agencies have limitations in disseminating information, especially in scenarios like thunderstorms where events unfold very quickly. Since these weather forecasting agencies cannot reach every individual, there must an intermediate agency that could pass on the forecast to people. Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had recently asked IMD to send weather advisories to people.