The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday informed the Bombay high court that its general body will consider the proposal for allotment of land at Veravali water reservoir in Andheri for installation of the city’s second Doppler radar, in its special meeting scheduled to be held on Thursday.
BMC counsel SU Kamdar informed the division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice MS Sonak that the Improvement Committee of the civic body has already cleared the proposal for allotment of the land in its special meeting held on December 3. According to the rules of the procedure, proposals for allotment of land are required to be cleared first by the municipal commissioner and then by the Improvement Committee and finally by the general body.
Kamdar said the improvement committee has sanctioned allotment of the land to the India Metrological Department (IMD) for a nominal rent, as civic lands cannot be leased out for free. As ordered by the court, civic chief Ajoy Mehta appeared before the court on Wednesday for the second time for hearing on the public interest litigation filed by a city resident Atal Bihari Dubel.
In his PIL, Dubel has raised concern over poor weather forecasting in the city in the wake of the June 2005 floods, after which the city had come to a standstill for two days. The judges had summoned him after noticing that although the civic body had assured them in September to hand over the site selected to install the Doppler within eight weeks, the decision to allot the site had not even been taken by the commissioner.
The meteorological department has already installed one Doppler atop a building in Colaba, which 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.