The non-filling of the vacant posts of the Directors of the CWC and the Doppler Radar Centre atop Kailasagiri have given rise to the speculation and is causing apprehensions among the staff.

The Indian Meteorology Department is said to be toying with the idea of shifting the Cyclone Warning Centre, Visakhapatnam, to the Meteorological Centre in Hyderabad.

The non-filling of the vacant posts of the Directors of the CWC and the Doppler Radar Centre atop Kailasagiri have given rise to the speculation and is causing apprehensions among the staff.

The CWC, established in 1976, has been rendering yeomen services to the people of the nine coastal districts of the State during cyclones.

“P. Koteswaram, who had served as the Director General of Observatories, was instrumental in the establishment of the CWC. Though there were observatories in Vizag for several decades prior to that, the main bulletins used to be issued from Madras (now Chennai) for Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh coast,” R. Muralikrishna, who retired as officer-in-charge of the Doppler Radar Centre, told The Hindu.

The Meteorological Centre in Hyderabad forecasts the rainfall for the State, while the CWC issues cyclone warnings.

The CWC Directors used to be in touch with the Collectors of the coastal districts to keep them informed of the movement of cyclones so that necessary evacuation measures were taken up immediately.

After retirement of V.L. Prasada Rao as Director of the CWC and in-charge Director of the Doppler Radar Centre on June 30, the posts haven’t been filled. Other posts that fall vacant are also not being filled, says Mr. Muralikrishna.

To add fuel to the fire, some vested interests are said to have raised the issue in the IMD that there was no need for maintaining two offices in Andhra Pradesh. Though a proposal to shift the office came up a couple of years ago, it was abandoned following resistance from the staff and the local people.

“Field-level observations are very important for forecasting cyclones, and posting of Directors and Class-I Officers is important for better coordination with higher officials and the Collectors of the coastal districts,” says Mr. Muralikrishna.

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