Addressing media persons here at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) here in New Delhi Dr. Harshvardhan said the sms based weather alert system is a component of the Digital India Programme which is a flagship programme of Government of India with a vision to transform our country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The minister said a provision is being made for issue of SMS alerts to General Public who would be required to register in India Meteorological Department website (firstname.lastname@example.org) for this purpose.
India Meteorological Department has taken various initiatives in recent years for improvement in weather forecast and warning services based on latest tools and technologies including information and communication technology. The improvement in cyclone warning systems has resulted in significant reduction in loss of life and property. To mention a few are very severe cyclonic storms, Phailin and Hudhud which crossed Odisha coast near Gopalpur and Andhra Pradesh coast near Visakhapatnam on 12 October 2013 and 2014 respectively wherein loss of life and resources was minimised.
One of the important initiatives towards the above outcome has been dissemination of Cyclone Alerts/ Warnings through SMS to Disaster Managers, Fishermen and farmers in the affected areas. To further enhance this initiative, India Meteorological Department has taken the leverage of Digital India Programme to utilise Mobile Seva of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Govt. of India for SMS based Cyclone Alerts/ Warnings for wide range of Users, including Disaster Managers, targeted users and general public.