No weatherman to record rainfall in Mawsynram

MAWSYNRAM, June 24 – Believe it or not – Mawsynram, one of the world’s wettest places, does not have a weatherman. It’s a PWD employee who has been entrusted with the onerous responsibility of recording Mawsynram’s rainfall density as it does not have any Meteorology office.

Ramkrishna Sarma, a grade-IV employee of Meghalaya PWD, and not the Meteorology Department, has been painstakingly collecting rainfall data in Mawsynram, which till a few years back, used to be the wettest place on earth.

Mawsynram, located 68 kilometres away from Shillong in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, lost the coveted position to its neighbouring village Cherrapunji not long back.

Unlike Cherrapunji, which is now officially the wettest place on earth, Mawsynram does not have any Meteorology office. The readings are taken by Sarma who has never had any training in this field.

And guess what, although there exist both automatic and manual rain gauging devices, Sarma still goes by the older version as he is averse to new technologies. “I am doing this job on behalf of the Meteorology Department for years now. I take the readings after every 24 hours and compile them in a notebook and send it to the Guwahati Meteorology office on a regular basis,” Sarma said. I have been performing the dual job for the PWD and the MET office.

Under such circumstances, even if the rainfall density in Mawsynram were to increase in the near future, it will be open to question why the readings maintained by an untrained person should be recognised.

Mawsynram, as per records available with Sarma, has witnessed a dip in the density of rainfall.

As per records, Mawsynram recorded 12,319 mm of rainfall in the year 2012.