Civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta was on Wednesday summoned by the Bombay high court for failing to comply with an earlier court order to finalise the site for a second Doppler radar in the city. “Probably the commissioner [Mehta] is not aware about the seriousness of the issue,” said the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and justice MS Sonak. “Let him come here, we will impress upon him the seriousness of the issue,” they said, adding, “If has any difficulties, we will also remove those difficulties.”
The judges wondered as to how the civic chief could have neglected the issue in a city like Mumbai, which has suffered its worst deluge in 2005, resulting in the loss of many lives and property worth crores of rupees. Acting on a PIL filed by city resident Atal Bihari Dubel, the court had on July 19, 2016, directed the civic chief to finalise one of the three alternate sites suggested by the India Meteorological Department for a second Doppler radar.
Earlier, the court was told a site at Veravali water supply reservoir near JVPD had been finalised as the site, but on Wednesday, BMC’s counsel, senior advocate SU Kamdar, said the hydrology department had some reservations with the decision and the matter was pending with Mehta.
Irked to note that although orders were being passed by the court for more than a year, the site had not yet been finalised by Mehta. The judges then ordered him to remain present with necessary particulars next Wednesday and to explain the issue personally.
In his PIL, Dubey raised concern over poor weather forecasting in the city in the wake of the floods of June 2015, after which the city had come to a standstill for two days.
The meteorological department has already installed one Doppler atop a building in Colaba, which has became operational in August 2015. Besides, the department was set to install 22 more automatic weather stations across the region — in addition to the existing eight, by March 2016, but the additional automatic weather stations are yet to see the light of the day.