A farmers’ union leader in Madhya Pradesh’s Malwa region has threatened to move court against what he claimed as the IMD’s “wrong” predictions leading to crop losses for cultivators in recent times.
However, a senior scientist of the India Meterological Department said farmers might have been “misled”, as a private weather service predicted early monsoon this year, in contrast to the forecast of the IMD (an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India).
He also said that cultivators should check whether the information was coming to them from genuine sources.
“In most of the cases, the weather predictions released by the IMD have failed. This has led to huge losses for farmers,” Bharatiya Kisan Sangh’s Malwa prant (region) spokesman Bharat Singh Bais claimed while talking to news agency PTI.
He said they were planning to move court against the IMD’s “wrong predictions” and a final decision in this regard will be taken soon.
Mr Bais, an Ujjain-based farmers’ leader, said at times, farmers prepare themselves for sowing as per the IMD’s weather forecast.
“But the failed predictions led to huge losses and sown crops got damaged, as it happened during the recent rains. About 300-400 hectares of land was lying unused (without sowing) in Ujjain district alone due to the IMD’s wrong rain predictions,” he said.
“In such a situation, farmers cannot trust the IMD’s forecast,” he added.
Mr Bais said in the US and other countries, weather predictions are precise and people can prepare themselves according to them.
“In India, the government is spending huge money, but the weather predictions are coming out to be wrong,” he claimed.
Mr Bais said he was collecting the data of losses incurred by farmers due to the “wrong weather predictions” of the state’s Met department.
The data of wrong forecasts in the past two-three years was also being collected, he informed news agency PTI.
“After collecting the data, we will take a decision about moving court against the IMD by next month, after holding a meeting,” he said, adding that at present, he and his associates are engaged in organisational elections.
Mr Bais also said they had earlier staged a protest against the IMD’s “wrong predictions” and it yielded results.
When contacted, a senior scientist of the IMD’s Bhopal centre refuted the allegations and told news agency PTI that farmers might have been “misled” by the weather forecast from more than one source.
“The farmers should at least check that all weather-related information is coming to them from genuine sources. A private weather forecast service predicted early monsoon arrival, in contrast to the IMD’s predictions. This might have led to the problem,” he said.
In several districts, some self-proclaimed weathermen were making forecasts as if they were IMD’s representatives, which was leading to confusion, he said.
“There is no truth in such allegations. This is not the problem of farmers…rather, some ‘netas’ (leaders) had earlier staged a protest to get compensation,” he said.
The scientist also said that the media should also be cautious while publishing weather-related predictions.