With the India Meteorological Department (IMD)’s Doppler radar acting as a roadblock for construction of highrises, the state government has now asked the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing & Industry (MCHI) to suggest alternative locations for installing a new radar.
Citing technical and administrative reasons, state government officials have said the existing radar at Colaba’s Navy Nagar area cannot be removed. However, a new radar which can enable the meteorological department to forecast heavy rainfall, storm, cyclone and other disasters, can be set up at a location suitable for the purpose, without any restrictions on the height of nearby buildings.
While state government officials said an official decision to set up a new radar would be taken after elections, the MCHI, an umbrella organisation of developers across the city, has been directed to come up with a location in the next 10 days.
“We have been told to identify 10 buildings that can take up to 10 tonnes of dynamic load of the radar or suitable land where the radar can be installed. Once the new radar comes up, it will be at an ideal location, such that construction of highrises will not be affected. It will be placed at greater height than the existing one,” said Vimal Shah, president, MCHI and managing director, Hubtown (Ackruti City).
Ownership of the land and the willingness of the owner to provide land for the radar will also be ascertained by developers. “The location has to be at a natural elevation,” said a member of MCHI, adding that the site should be accessible and motorable.
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 highrise within 10-km radius of the Doppler radar — fitted atop an 18-storey building in Navy Nagar — must get clearance from the IMD, which disallows vertical growth beyond 77 m (22 floors) in the region.
With an estimated 40-50 of their projects in trouble because of the IMD’s ceiling, a group of developers under the banner of Property Developers Association (PRA), had approached the state government to do away with the mandatory no-objection certificate for highrises from IMD.