Climatology data now in demand from various quarters

In the last few years, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has seen an upsurge in the demand for climatological data from various industries. This data, which till a few years back was in demand from scientists and non departmental people only, seems have now found a major market in the agro-insurance, multi national companies and power grid corporations.

Dr B Mukhopadhya, deputy director general (DDG), climatology, said the demand of climatology data from the insurance and other fields has been on the rise since the last 10 years. "Insurance companies, especially those dealing with crop insurance and agricultural insurance have realised the importance of this data and using them both in deciding insurance premium for crops and insurance claims from farmers," he said.

IMD, in its inventory, has the combined data of all climatological phenomenons, like rainfall, frost, drought etc for the past many years. "As the IMD maintains precise and proper data of all the weather phenomonon, it would be easy to compare and tally with the insurance claims of crops which might have been destroyed due to adverse weather phenomenons," he said.

Also a major chunck of the buyers of the IMD's data are various MNCs, which have to obtain the mandatory environmental impact assesment (EIA) from the ministry of environment and forests before starting their work. "The climatological data, like rainfall, and other parameters help the companies prepare their EIA," he said. A recent addition to the list of buyers of the data are power grid companies. "The power grid companies, since the last four or five years have started using this data to help them plan for power grid. In areas which are prone to drought and water scarcity, the company invests and installs more powerful grid than in areas which are less drought prone," he said.

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