Taking a serious view of India Metrological Department’s (IMD) inaction over installing ‘automated rain gauges’ (ARG), which helps generate advance rain warning for people, the Bombay high court on Tu
Taking a serious view of India Metrological Department’s (IMD) inaction over installing ‘automated rain gauges’ (ARG), which helps generate advance rain warning for people, the Bombay high court on Tuesday directed IMD to install the ARGs within two weeks as per the court order passed last year. The court also granted authorities four weeks’ time to find an appropriate place to install a Doppler radar for more accurate monsoon predictions.
The division bench of Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice M.S. Sonak issued these directions while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Atal Bihari Dubey. The PIL alleges neglect and failure of the authorities to drain out rain water that had paralysed the city following a heavy downpour on June 18. The petitioner has sought that the IMD give accurate and timely weather forecast so that people could take preventive measures.
On Tuesday, the petitioner’s lawyer Shailesh Naidu informed the bench that in August 2015 the high court had directed the government of Maharashtra, BMC, IMD and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to find the appropriate place to install the Doppler radar that helps predict rains more accurately.
As per the court’s directions, the concerned authorities were supposed to find the location for the radar before March 2016. However, the court was informed that earlier the state had found a place at Aarey colony in suburban Goregaon but due to some reasons that idea was dropped and the state is yet to find a new place. Following this the court directed it to find a new place to install the Doppler radar within four weeks.
The bench was also informed that as per earlier court order these authorities were supposed to install 22 ARGs. In absence of such gauges, the quantitative information about the flood flows in the stream channels, accumulated water in and around the stream channels and extent and duration submergence has not been yet available. Though the IMD had assured the court that these would be installed by March 31, 2016 but so far no steps have been taken to implement court order. On this the court directed IMD to complete installing the ARGs in two weeks.