Even as the India Meteorological Department (IMD)’s Doppler radar continues to act as a roadblock for construction of highrises, neither the state government, the BMC nor the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing & Industry (MCHI) has been able to provide a suitable location for the second Doppler radar in the city.
The BMC had recently suggested three locations for the second radar — Nashik-Mumbai Highway, Kasara or Shahad.
“We have given the IMD a list of 10-15 sites as suggested by the water supply department. We find it difficult to find elevated sites with no obstructions around them within the city. It is also up to the state and the IMD to find a suitable site for the second radar,” said Rajeev Kuknur, chief engineer, development plan, BMC.
The water supply department had suggested other elevated locations near the reservoirs and dams near the city.
However, the IMD has dismissed these sites as there are all more than 30 km away from the city, which they claim would make radar-based estimation for the city impossible.
“If we install the radar that far from the city, the radar will be of no use to Mumbai. All the sites shown or discussed with us so far do not seem suitable for the second radar. We are seeking details of more sites,” said an IMD official, who did not wish to be named.
The IMD is looking for a secure location that is within 30 km of the city, that will allow the radar to pick up weather patterns over the Arabian sea and over Mumbai and which is convenient for its officials in terms of accessibility and network.
Three months ago, the state government had also asked the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing & Industry (MCHI) to suggest alternative locations.
Of the ten sites suggested by the MCHI to the state government, an under-construction building at Lower Parel seemed to have met the technical specifications of the IMD. However, on their visit in April, IMD officials found that approved under-construction buildings around the site were slated to be constructed taller than the proposed doppler site.
The existing DWR (15 tonnes) is fitted atop an 18-storey (around 70 metres) building in Navy Nagar at Colaba. In August last year, a group of developers had written to the state government against a two-year-old rule that said any proposal for a high-rise within 10-km radius of the doppler radar must get clearance from the IMD, which disallows vertical growth beyond 77 m (22 floors) in the region.
Citing technical reasons, IMD officials had informed the state that the radar at Colaba cannot be shifted.