The Bombay High Court came down heavily on the Maharashtra government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for dragging feet on finalising a site to set up a second Doppler radar in the city for more accurate weather prediction.
A bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N M Jamdar summoned the Advocate General and the Additional Solicitor General on the next date of hearing to explain the delay.
Referring to the flooding in the city on August 29 following torrential rains, the bench said the authorities must take “immediate steps” to avoid similar incidents in the future.
“This is a serious issue. Every year the city faces flooding in the monsoons. We had warned you in the previous hearings that something like this would happen if you don’t take any action,” the bench said.
The observations came after the BMC’s counsel Anil Sakhre told the court that while a site had been identified for the Doppler radar, lack of agreement on the lease amount for the land was causing delay.
“We have agreed to hand over the site to the Indian Meteorological Department. Now it is for the state and IMD to sort out the issue of rent for the land, allotment premium, etc,” Sakhre said.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed in 2015 by advocate Atal Dubey after heavy rains on a day in June that year led to the city being inundated and the rail services getting paralysed.
The PIL led to several court orders, including a direction to install a second Doppler radar in Mumbai.
Dopplers are modern weather radars that help predict potentially severe weather conditions more accurately.
Mumbai currently has one Doppler radar installed in the Navy Nagar area in Colaba.