New Delhi : The Indian government is to launch a dedicated weather channel in English and Hindi in the first quarter of next year.
"Initially it would telecast programmes for six hours a day and become a round the clock channel by 2012," Minister for Earth Sciences Kapil Sibal told a press conference here.
"It will be a public-private partnership. We are negotiating with a number of parties but we are not in a position to disclose the names," Sibal said.
Said P.S. Goel, secretary in the ministry: "As of now we are planning to make it a bi-lingual (Hindi and English) channel. With time it may be telecast in regional languages as well.
"Daily weather forecast, agro-forecast, and cyclone and tsunami warnings will be part of the programmes," Goel told IANS.
He said the channel would prove handy in disseminating weather information during the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010.
Sibal also said that the government was planning a Rs.9 billion modernization of the India Meteorological Department.
"Doppler radar, automatic rain gauge machines, digital weather forecast and computerisation of several departments will take place," he said.