Weather forecasting system being upgraded for Shri Amarnathji yatra

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, June 14: The timely availability of reliable weather forecast reports are of vital importance for ensuring that Shri Amarnathji yatra is managed with minimal risk to those who undertake the pilgrimage as the yatris have to traverse a very difficult terrain which passes through 14000 feet high mountain range to arrive at the holy shrine located at 13,500 feet altitude.
Considering the serious weather related difficulties faced by the pilgrims in the past yatras, the Governor, N. N. Vohra, who is Chairman of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, had last year addressed Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, to seek help for a Doppler Radar being installed in the yatra area to upgrade the weather forecasting system, on which the day to day movement of the pilgrims, from Camp to Camp, is based. The Governor had also addressed M. Shashidhar Reddy, Vice Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India, regarding the identification of measures which would enable more effective arrangements for meeting any disaster situation during the Yatra.
It has been informed that while a Doppler Radar would become available later this year, the Meteorological Department, consequent to the Governor’s request in the matter, is establishing 3 Advance Weather Systems (AWS) at Sheshnag, Panjtarni and Holy Cave which will become fully operational by 20th June, 2012. The Meteorological Department is also installing Weather Display Boards at the Baltal and Nunwan Base Camps, for the benefit of the yatris proceeding to the Holy Shrine.
Sonam Lotus, Director, Meteorological Department disclosed that his Department is in the process of establishing a Doppler Radar Station at Srinagar which will provide an important facility for generating more accurate weather forecasts in the Kashmir valley, benefiting not only the yatris but also the people at large, throughout the year.
This position emerged during discussions in a meeting held today by the Governor with Sonam Lotus, Director, Meteorological Department and Navin K. Choudhary, Chief Executive Officer, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, to review the weather position in the next 7 days.