Mumbai rains: Still no sign of second Doppler radar in city

Mumbai is nowhere near getting the device to help predict weather, even though the Indian Meteorological Department has shortlisted locations for its installation

While the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) is having a busy time monitoring the monsoon, it has been unable to install a second Doppler radar in the city so far, years after it was proposed.

The second Doppler radar could be installed at Bhandup or Andheri. The device will forecast weather for the city and some other regions of the state. File pic for representation
The second Doppler radar could be installed at Bhandup or Andheri. The device will forecast weather for the city and some other regions of the state. File pic for representation

A survey has been done and a team from the New Delhi IMD headquarters will soon visit the shortlisted locations in Mumbai, but the installation of the weather forecasting radar seems to have a long way to go.

The city already has a Doppler radar at Navy Nagar in Colaba, which is used for weather forecasting. This was installed after the 2005 deluge and helps in nowcasting, as well as forecasting. Nowcasting means the radar is supposed to predict a deluge-like situation up to three hours in advance.

However, the device has been mired in controversy, since it restricted the development of buildings in the area. Structures within a 10-km radius of the radar cannot be taller than 70 m (22-storey) tall. The radar met with protests from builders, who said that several projects had been stalled because of it.

It was then demanded that this radar be moved out of the city. Meanwhile, the installation of another radar was proposed, which would predict the weather for Mumbai as well as other regions of Maharashtra up to a radius of 200 to 300 km.

The BMC had suggested 23 possible locations, of which the IMD zeroed down on two one reportedly in Bhandup and the other in Andheri last year. However, there has been no development in the matter since then. “We have surveyed all the locations and shortlisted some.

A team of officials will soon visit from New Delhi, and only after their nod can the radar be installed,” informed K S Hosalikar, deputy director (western region), IMD. “There is no hindrance on the part of the state government or the builders for the installation of another radar.

I don’t know why they are delaying it. The BMC has also completed its job; it is now up to the weather department to speed it up,” said MLA Amin Patel, who has been pursuing the matter.

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