New Delhi: Expressing apprehensions over dragon infiltration into the sensitive and communication areas, Union Defence Ministry has halted the Indian Meteorological Department’s project to install Chinese radars operated by the satellite in the coastal regions.

Given strategic importance of the issue, the Prime Minister’s Office has started its interference into the matter. The PMO is already annoyed over Chinese construction in bordering areas of Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh.

Union Home Ministry, Intelligence Agencies and National Security Advisor have already expressed concerns over Chinese threat.  
The fresh ripples have been created by the MET Department that has imported 12 Doppler weather radars. Out of these, four radars had to be installed at Mumbai, Goa, Paradeep and Karaikal (Pondicherry), which are places of great strategic importance.

Significantly, the Chinese radar functions on the S-band frequency of INSAT satellite. The entire exercise has irritated the Defence Ministry which is in no mood to give a leeway to the issue.

In its complaints to the PMO, Union Ministry of Earth Sciences said the radar installation at Lucknow, Patiala, Jaipur, Mohanbari (Assam), Bhuj, Kochi and Delhi has taken a complicated turn due to opposition of the Defence Ministry.

Now the Prime Minister, Defence Minister and Security Advisor are likely to take a final decision on Chinese radar installation.

Satellite communication based Doppler weather radar remains to be effective even during bad weather. Therefore, it is used by the MET Departments across the world.

Citing the reason behind the procurement of Chinese radars, MET Department said it had bought them through global tendering in which Chinese companies had emerged as winner. Presently, India has no indigenous alternative to the Chinese radars.

There is an immediate need of Chinese radars to predict the weather during storms in coastal regions, informed the MET Department. If they are not installed soon, the entire efforts of the Department to give flawless forecast would be affected.

Sources said the MET Department has already installed Doppler radars at Chennai, Kolkata, Nagpur, Patna, Agartala, Sriharikota, Visakhapatnam, Machilipatnam and Lucknow. The Department has kept the number of Chinese radars fitted in those locations secret as the Defence Ministry is annoyed over their installation.

Anshuman Tiwari/JPN