Could India have lost seismic data over funding issues related to a key project? A March 2015 letter from the director of the now defunct Programme for Excellence in Strong Motion Studies (Pesmos) to the ministry of earth sciences (MoES) seems to point in that direction, even as Nepal and India struggle to come to terms with the worst earthquake in South Asia in eighty years. The director of Pesmos was Ashok Kumar of the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.
The instruments were supposed to collect data for analysis by seismologists on the motion of the earth’s tectonic plates, which leads to earthquakes when they grind up against each other. Some of this data was to be used to set up an early warning system for earthquakes in India. The project was supposed to have been funded until December 2014, but the money ran out in September despite favourable reports by the xxxx or PMAC.
Ministry of earth sciences secretary Shailesh Nayak said that it was a “policy decision” to take the project away from IIT-Roorkee and hand it over to the NSC. “And if the instruments have been handed over correctly, there may be data there,” he said.
Those associated with the project in the past said that handling the instruments needs trained personnel and they need frequent maintenance. “As is obvious from Dr Ashok Kumar’ .