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Fifth monsoon with no radar

mumbai Updated: May 26, 2010 02:10 IST
Soubhik Mitra
Soubhik Mitra
Hindustan Times
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For the fifth consecutive year since it was sanctioned, Mumbai might not get the assistance of a Doppler radar to read rain clouds.

The radar known for giving weather updates every five minutes will not be available before June-end, said officials of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) officials. According to the IMD model of forecasting monsoon, rains begin in Mumbai on June 10.

In May, technicians from the Bangalore-based Bharat Elec-tricals Ltd, makers of the device, have been struggling to set up the Doppler radar atop an 18-storey Navy building at Colaba.

“The installation is taking time because the equipment is very heavy. We are hoping it is done by the end of next month,” said RV Sharma, deputy director, IMD. After the installation, IMD officials will conduct trials for a few weeks before commissioning it for daily use.

The special radar was sanctioned after the 2005 deluge.

A China-make Doppler that had been procured in May 2009 was sent back to New Delhi in December after the Navy objected to its installation atop its building citing security reasons.

The Navy did not wish to allow in Chinese manufacturers to set up the equipment at a skyscraper in Colaba where its headquarters are located.

Also, the range and frequency of the Doppler radar being installed is lower than the Chinese one.

Advanced forecasting devices, such as the Doppler radar, are crucial for Mumbai because rainfall patterns are likely to get erratic in future.

Climate scientists project that the amount of rainfall will remain the same but the number of days that receive rain will reduce which means that possibility of floods and drought are high.