Pathankot: Concerned over changes in weather pattern, the Centre has decided to import state-of-the-art super computer for accurate forecast which will help an estimated five crore farmers and fishermen.
The super computer will alert the farmers who could take steps in advance to save their crops and also alert the fishermen to take safety measures before venturing into the sea, Union Minister of State for Planning, Science and
Technology and Parliamentary Affairs Ashwani Kumar said during his visit to Kandi belt.
He said leading IT companies, including Infosys, Reliance and Tatas, will be roped in to send SMSes to the farmers about the expected weather conditions.
"The technology would also be used to send warning signals on mobile phones to fishermen in case of calamities like storms in sea and Tsunami," he said.
Kumar said that initially about five lakh farmers and 20,000 fishermen will benefit from the scheme but after five years, five crore farmers and 40,000 fishermen will be able to avail the benefits of the weather forecasting programme.
Voicing concern over the fast declining ground water table in Punjab, which is food basket of the country, Kumar said, the Centre has sanctioned Rs 200 vrore which will be spent under Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMF)
in the next three years to harness rain water.
In the current fiscal, the Centre has already sanctioned Rs 64 crore for promoting ground water recharging and enhance water table in rain-fed areas in some districts of Punjab.
The districts include Tarn Taran, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Faridkot and Kandi areas of Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur and Ropar. The Centre will pool 90 per cent of the funding for the scheme under IWMP, Kumar added.
He said the Science and Technology Ministry was also planning to set up a biotechnology institute at Mohali "which will help usher in second green revolution in the state".
Earlier, Kumar denied Shiromani Akali Dal's charge that the Centre was meting out step-motherly treatment to Punjab. Asked about the Central aid to Punjab during the seven year-rule UPA rule, the Union Minister said that "all he knew was that the state government did not avail majority of the aid extended by the Centre".