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2nd Doppler radar caught between price and pride

The advanced system of the Doppler radar will provide timely weather updates to help the authorities prepare for any upcoming disaster.

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2nd Doppler radar caught between price and pride
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Last year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) allotted a 900 sqm plot at Veravali in Andheri for the installation of city’s second Doppler radar. However, according to civic officials, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has yet not taken possession of the plot as it is not ready to pay the one-time premium charges of Rs 55.96 lakh for it. They say that the IMD wants its for free. 

The advanced system of the Doppler radar will provide timely weather updates to help the authorities prepare for any upcoming disaster. If Mumbai had its second Doppler radar this monsoon, the authorities would have been prepared in a better way for the heavy rainfall and the resultant flooding that brought the city to a standstill on August 29.

After several orders by Bombay High Court to install the second Doppler radar, which was recommended in the Chitale Fact Finding Committee report of 2006, the BMC last year allotted the water reservoir plot. “We have sent four letters to the IMD to take possession of the plot. If they seek any waiver of the premium charges or annual fees, the IMD needs to approach the urban development department of the state government, which is the authorising agency in this case. We also suggested that they take possession of the plot. As for the charges, it can be decided with the consultation of the state government; but IMD has not responded,” said Ashok Tawadia, Hydraulic Engineer of BMC.

Nitin Kareer, Principal Secretary to the state government’s Urban Development Department, said, “I have not received any request letter from IMD for any concession in charges. They should have approached us and given us a written application. If IMD approaches us, we will definitely consider their request for concession.”

KS Hosalikar, deputy director-general of IMD, said, “We are in correspondence with the BMC for finalising the land.” However, he refused to comment anything further saying that the matter is in court. The matter will be heard in Bombay High Court on Wednesday in relation to a PIL filed after the June 2015 floods.

How it would help

If Mumbai had its second Doppler radar this monsoon, the authorities concerned would have been prepared in a better way for the heavy rainfall and the resultant flooding that brought the city to a standstill on August 29.

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