Monsoon hits Mumbai but weather radar for better updates still not ready
Mumbai city news: Mumbai has a Doppler radar — which monitors moving weather systems to predict conditions promptly and more accurately and warns against thunderstorms or cyclones — in Colabamumbai Updated: Jul 03, 2017 00:15 IST
Heavy rains, gusty winds and thunderstorms have been lashing the city this week, but a radar that could predict the weather better and prevent a disaster like the deadly floods of 2005 is yet to be installed, even two years after the idea was first proposed.
Mumbai has a Doppler radar — which monitors moving weather systems to predict conditions promptly and more accurately and warns against thunderstorms or cyclones — in Colaba. But officials admitted a city like Mumbai cannot depend on just one Doppler radar. So, six months ago, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) passed a proposal to provide space to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to set up a second Doppler radar. But the IMD is yet to issue tenders for the project.
“There is a lot of pretendering work that needs to be done. We are preparing a request for the proposal, and are looking at site specifications and budgetary allocations too,” an IMD official told HT.
The official said there was no deadline to issue the tenders. This is even after the Bombay high court (HC), in December 2016, slammed the BMC for a “lethargic approach” to finalise a site for the second radar.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation asking for corrective steps after heavy rains brought Mumbai to a halt for two days in June 2015. The court also summoned the municipal commissioner and wondered how authorities could neglect the issue, after Mumbai faced its worst deluge in 2005.
After the court’s rap, the proposal to provide a 30x30 m space at the Veravali reservoir for the radar was passed by the BMC. The site was considered as there should be no high-rises in the vicinity. The proposal said the space will be provided with a one-time payment of Rs2.23 crore. After this, the IMD will have to pay Rs900 a year for the next 30 years for the plot.