First there was delay in finalising the site, and then both BMC and IMD were locked in a dispute over the money settlement.
Mumbai: The monsoon has already arrived in the city, but Mumbai will have to wait little longer to see its second Doppler weather radar in action. While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has handed over the land at Veravali reservoir for the project, officials of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that it will still take couple of years to install the radar.
Doppler radar is expected to provide weather warnings specific to an area, time and intensity of rainfall. The Chitale Committee report in 2006 had first suggested that IMD forecasts would improve with two radars. Accordingly, city’s first Doppler radar was installed in Colaba in 2010. However, the second radar project has hit several obstacles since the beginning only. First there was delay in finalising the site, and then both BMC and IMD were locked in a dispute over the money settlement.
It was only when the high court rebuked both the agencies for the delay in the wake of July 2015 floods, the BMC finalised a plot at Veravali reservoir in Jogeshwari for the radar in 2016. However, the IMD took possession of the plot only after the BMC waived off the payment of Rs 56 lakh for the plot.
“We have already handed over the plot to the IMD about six months back for the construction of Doppler radar. But since then we have not received any communication from them for further action,” said a senior civic official.
IMD deputy director general K.S. Hosalikar said that procedural delays might happen since it is a big project. “The IMD ministry has already approved the procurement of radar equipment. A technical committee consisting of weather experts has been formed to prepare specifications, following which global tenders will be invited for the project. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has also started preparing designs to develop the project site,” he said.