PMD needs Rs13b to replace obsolete mechanism


LAHORE: Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) needs a minimum of Rs12.871 billion to replace its obsolete mechanism of early warning system with hydrometeorological equipment, highly placed sources told Pakistan Today.

Sources said that PMD lacks informed decision-making mechanism required in disaster relief management. Presently, getting the right information to the right people seems like a distant dream, they added.

Sources also said that the country has been experiencing the impacts of climate change and needs reliable and accurate climate and weather information to protect its economy and communities.

Documents obtained by Pakistan Today, mention that PMD has a capacity to record, analyse and dispatch data to different stakeholders but for that purpose, it needs at least Rs727.38 million.

For institutional strengthening and the development of a legal and regulatory framework, Rs169.722 million is needed while Rs503.105 million is needed for capacity building and the training of the department and its main stakeholders. Rs.54.554 million is also needed for public education, awareness raising and marketing.

For modernising the observational infrastructure, data management facility and forecasting system, PMD needs Rs2.426 billion while Rs7.092 billion is needed for technical modernization of the observational networks. Rs1.492 billion is also needed to modernise data management, communication and ICT system.

Documents also mention that for improving the weather forecasting process, including the numerical weather prediction system, Rs387.936 million is needed. Rs145.476 million is needed for improving the hydrological forecasting system, including the flood modelling system, whereas Rs1.394 billion is needed for the expansion and refurbishment of operational facilities.

Rs1.128 billion is needed for enhancement of delivery service and building of partnerships with the private sector. Rs206.091 million is needed for the introduction of public weather and hydrological services, water resources, DRM, agriculture, irrigation, media, civil aviation, transport, health, energy, etc. The strengthening of an end-to-end early warning system, including a regular post-event review process, requires Rs121.230 million.

The introduction of impact-based forecast and warning services in support of operations of the DRM sector and other stakeholders is needed but the requirement of Rs193.968milion has been putting the system at the halt. In addition, the development of agriculture and climate advisory service, including drought monitoring, cannot be launched unless Rs303.075 million is invested.

Documents mention that the creation of the National Framework of Climate Services (NFCS) cannot be initiated in the absence of Rs181.845m. Also, the strengthening of services for aviation cannot be fulfilled due to the deficiency of Rs121.230 million.

Documents further mention that for the assessment of existing systems and design of an optimum composite observational network and of forecasting and service delivery processes (weather, climate, and hydrological) PMD needs Rs242.461 million. Rs121.230 is needed for improvement in management, monitoring, reporting, and evaluation besides Rs121.231 million needed for operations and maintenance costs.