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Japan to provide Rs1.6bn for weather monitoring system in Karachi

Japan to provide Rs1.6bn for weather monitoring system in Karachi

ISLAMABAD: The weather surveillance radars established in Karachi nearly 24 years ago will be replaced with a modern, digitalised system for which the Japanese government will provide a grant of Rs1.6 billion.

The Karachi radar system has played an important role in monitoring meteorological phenomenon in the southern area and tropical cyclones formed over the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. However, over the passage of time and despite maintenance, the radars are losing their effectiveness.

To formalise the grant, Japan’s Ambassador Hiroshi Inomata and Economic Affairs Division’s Secretary Saleem Sethi signed and exchanged notes here on Wednesday. It was followed by formal signing of an agreement on the details of project implementation. The chief representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency, Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki, and EAD Joint Secretary Syed Mujtaba Hussain signed the agreement.

It was decided to replace the current analogue system with the digital Doppler mode radar. The new equipment will be processing information in the 450km radius for consumption of the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

This will help the Met office monitor the development of severe weather systems to prepare more accurate and timely weather forecast in coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan. Japan has already assisted Pakistan in installing radar systems at Islamabad, Karachi, Dera Ismail Khan and Rahimyar Khan out of seven meteorological radar systems under its grant-aid programme.

The project is the first priority of the National Multi Hazard Early Warning System Plan which was part of the National Disaster Management Plan formulated through Japan’s assistance in 2012.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2015

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