SOHRA (MEGHALAYA), April 17 - Having scripted a place in weather record books for receiving torrential rains for years, Sohra, erstwhile Cherrapunjee, will now have a Rain Museum and Research Centre, as per the plans mooted by Meghalaya Government.
The proposed centre on the lines of the High Altitude Cloud Physics Laboratory set up at Mahabaleshwar, will showcase the uniqueness of the people and their culture besides providing necessary scientific back ups for high- end research on rainfall.
The Museum and the Centre will act as a premier capacity building institution where in visitors will be provided with all information of the place, the people and their culture and rainfall � that has become part of their lives since time immemorial.
�The State Government, through the Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (an agency constituted to implement the State�s flagship Integrated Basin Development and Livelihood Programme), has aptly decided to set up the Rain Museum and Research Centre here,� a senior MBDA official said.
He said the proposal is under process and is likely to get support from various interested institutions, both within the State and also from Central agencies.
The fact that Sohra and Mawsynram (neighbouring town west of here), receive huge amount of rainfall continuously, despite being located away from the ocean, has intrigued many weather researchers and provides a unique setting to understand the mechanism of very heavy rainfall processes in the absence of cyclonic disturbances, a white paper prepared by Kolkata-based National Council of Science Museums, said.
Both these places are unlike the other wet places like the Hawaii Islands in Pacific Ocean and La-Reunion in Indian Ocean where they are both islands amidst vast oceans where cyclonic disturbances cause heavy rainfall.
On the other hand, the vapour-laden cloud from Bay of Bengal proceeds northward over the plains of Bangladesh lying at almost sea level before abruptly climbing a 4,500 feet height on its path on the southern edge of Khasi Hills where Sohra and Mawsynram lie.
�This unique positioning attributes a very niche weather to Sohra making it a prominent research interest for the weather scientists,� the paper stated.
The Research Centre aims to establish state-of-the-art Met Instrumentation Laboratory which would provide facilities to national and international research community to carry out research in the areas related to very heavy rainfall, understand mechanism of very heavy rainfall and develop parameterisation schemes for prediction of very heavy rainfall, it said.
It would also act as a premier capacity building institution even as the Museum part of the component will be segmented into the outdoor and the indoor facilities where in various historical facts of the place would be displayed.
Cherrapunji Rain Centre intends to have state-of-the-art Observing Systems and Data Centre, working space for visiting Scientists to carry out high quality research work, according to the paper.
While the Centre is aimed to be equipped with modern instruments in collaboration with other similar research organisations like the IMD, the official said various weather research projects will also be allowed to be carried out independently and also by institutional researchers.
The State Government hopes that the weather research centre will get strategic support and apt collaboration from the IMD office Cherrapunji which host the S-band Doppler Weather Radar installed by ISRO for long range data collection and helps in flood early warning and several other applications, the MBDA official said.
The proposed Sohra Rain Research Centre would enable the study of very heavy rainfall over eastern India in general and over Meghalaya/Sohra region in particular, he said. � PTI