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Data on casualties due to heat waves in the last three years

Data on casualties due to heat waves in the last three years

The number of persons who lost their lives/seriously hurt due to heat waves which swept across the country during each of the last three years and the current year are as under;

Till March 2016
Andhra Pradesh

West Bengal













Tamil Nadu




Year- Total

India Meteorological Department (IMD) Issued Seasonal Outlook for Temperatures during the 2016 Hot Weather Season (April- June) as given below on 31st March 2016.

·         During the 2016 Hot Weather Season (April to June), warmer than normal temperatures are expected in all meteorological sub-divisions of the country. Seasonal (April-June) average temperatures over northwest India are expected to be above normal by more than 1.00 C.
·         Above normal heat wave (HW) conditions are very likely over central and northwest India during the 2016 Hot Weather Season.

            IMD is also providing extended range forecasts (5 –day averaged forecasts for next 15 days) of heat wave conditions over the whole country. The forecast will consist of probability of occurrence of hot days, heat waves and severe heat waves for the next 15 days updated every 5th day from 1st April, 2016 onwards.

IMD will issue heat wave alerts and warnings on every five days which will be valid for next 15 days. The forecasts will be made available through IMD, Delhi website (www.imd.gov.in) and simultaneously shared with respective national/state/district level Disaster Management Authorities.

Advisories include precautionary measures to avoid heat stroke include – drinking plenty of water; avoiding going out in open heat during 10AM-4PM; wearing light colored clothes; covering head/using umbrella while going out; monitoring symptoms of heat stroke etc. Based on such warnings, the respective authorities have been urging people to stay indoors during the mid-day along with health advisories to stay hydrated (to drink lot of water) so as to avoid heat strokes/illness.

Upon prediction of heat wave conditions by the IMD, various state governments have a system of giving wide publicity of Dos and Don’ts through advertisements in TV channels, News Papers and opening drinking water camps at identified places in rural and urban areas to mitigate the impact of heat waves.  The schedule of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme workers is adjusted to avoid exposure to extreme hot weather duration periods. 

This was stated by the Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Y.S.Chowdary in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.


Current Status of Technologies for Forecasting of Natural Calamities in India
India Meteorological Department (IMD) is responsible for monitoring, detection and forecasting of weather including severe weather events such as cyclones, heavy rainfall, extreme temperature etc. It provides forecast of these events at national, regional and state levels through its three tier structure. In order to provide early warning of severe weather events, IMD has setup a network of state meteorological centres to have better coordination with a state and other agencies.

Over the last few years, Government has initiated a comprehensive modernization programme for IMD covering (i) upgraded observation systems (ii) advanced data assimilation tools (iii) advanced communication and IT infrastructure (iv) high performance computing systems and (v) intensive/sophisticated training of IMD personnel to facilitate the implementation of advanced global/regional/meso-scale prediction models for improving the accuracy of weather forecasts in all temporal and spatial scales and for quick dissemination of weather forecast assessments/warnings to the users.

Operational implementation of improved forecast suite of models after the commissioning of the High Performance Computing (HPC) systems have enhanced the weather forecasting capacities through assimilating all available global satellite radiance data for the production of forecast products at 22km grid globally and 9km/3km grid over India/regional/mega city domains.

IMD has operationalized its location specific now-casting weather service across the country. This service activity currently covers 156 urban centres on experimental basis under which now-cast of severe weather phenomena like thunderstorms, heavy rainfall from lows/depressions over the land is issued in 3-6hrs range. Origin, development/movement of severe weather phenomena is regularly monitored through Doppler Weather Radars (DWRs) and with all available other observing systems viz., Automatic Weather Station-AWSs, Automatic Rain Gauge – ARGs, Automatic Weather Observing Systems-AWOS, satellite derived wind vectors, temperature, moisture fields etc.

Recently, under the National Monsoon Mission initiative, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), NOIDA have embarked upon to build a state-of-the-art coupled ocean-atmospheric climate model for a) improved prediction of monsoon rainfall on extended range to seasonal time scale i.e. 16 days to one season and b) improved prediction of temperature, rainfall and extreme weather events on short to medium range time scale (up to 15 days) so that forecast skill gets quantitatively improved further for operational services of IMD. National Center for Seismology (NCS) is monitoring earthquake activity in and around the county round the clock through its national seismological network. There is no proven scientific technique worldwide exists so far to predict/forecast the occurrence of earthquakes with reasonable degree of accuracy in space, time and magnitude.

Observing systems support for the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) comprises of real-time seismic monitoring network of 17 broadband seismic stations apart from other national and international seismic stations. These would detect under-sea tsunami-genic earthquakes from the two known subduction zones of Andaman-Sumatra and Makran in Indian Ocean which can potentially affect entire Indian coastal states and Island regions. A network of real-time sea-level sensors with Bottom Pressure Recorders (BPR) in the open ocean, HF Radars for coastal currents and coastal tide gauge stations to capture tsunami wave speed and amplitude on a continuous basis have been installed.

The Government has been entrusting the task of carrying out a comprehensive third party assessment of socio-economic benefits of its services to the reputed National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCEAR), Delhi. As per the recent NCAER report, farming community of the country is using the Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa (GKMS) service products of IMD for critical farm operations viz. i) Management of sowing (Delayed onset of rains); ii) Changing crop variety (Delay in rainfall); iii) Spraying Pesticides for disease control (occurrence of rainfall); iv) Managing Irrigation (Heavy rainfall Forecast).

Concurrently, with the implementation of District Level Agro-Meteorological Advisory services, India has seen improved agriculture performance in the rain fed farming which covers 60% of arable land in the country. Incremental profit due to GKMS is assessed at 25% of the net income. Potential Annual Economic profit by using GKMS by 24% of the community cultivating 4-principle crops (wheat; paddy; sugarcane; cotton) in 2010 was assessed at Rs. 38,463 Crores (when 2.0 million farmers were subscribed to SMS service), the annual profit rose to Rs. 42,000 Crores in 2015 (when 11.5 million farmers have been subscribed to SMS service). This profit for top 11 Principal Crops was assessed as 56,310 Crores and top 28 Principal Crops was assessed as Rs. 67,000 Crores in 2015. The study suggests that GKMS has the potential of generating net economic benefit up to Rs.3.3 lakh crores on the 4-principal crops alone when Agro-Meteorological advisory is fully utilized by 90.3 million agriculture dependent households.

The technology used by the country is of international standard. Government also feels that the up gradation of the observing system, high performance computing, communication, forecast/warning systems, product dissemination systems etc. should become a part of continuing process by which state-of-the art science and technology tools shall be made accessible to the scientists engaged in weather research and forecasting towards enhancing the service quality.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Y.S.Chowdary in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today. 


Current Status of Desalination Plants in India
Three desalination plants based on the Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) technology, indigenously developed and demonstrated by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), have been successfully commissioned one each at Kavaratti, Minicoy, and Agatti islands of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep with expenditures of Rs. 5 crores, Rs. 10.4 crores and Rs. 16.4 crores, respectively. The capacity of each of these LTTD plants is 1 lakh litres of potable water per day. One experimental LTTD plant using condenser waste heat from power plant was set up at North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS) with an expenditure of Rs. 4.5 crores.

It is proposed to set up LTTD plants in Lakshadweep and Tuticorin Thermal Power Station provided adequate funds are available.

Work to set up a prototype LTTD plant with a capacity of generating 2 million litres of potable water per day (2 MLD) at the Tuticorin Thermal Power station, Tamil Nadu has been initiated with initial estimated cost of Rs. 42.14 crores. The Lakshadweep Administration requested NIOT for setting up similar plants in remaining six islands viz., Amini, Chetlet, Kadamath, Kalpeni, Kiltan and Andrott. NIOT has sent a detailed project report with a fund requirement of Rs. 280.01 crores to the Lakshadweep Administration in this regard.

Design for setting up the LTTD plant at the Tuticorin Thermal Power station, Tamil Nadu is in the advanced stage of completion. The proposal to setup LTTD plants in six islands of Lakshadweep has not been approved so far.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Y.S.Chowdary in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today. 

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