MCGM well prepared for monsoon: Civic body

With the memories of July 26 deluge still fresh in the minds even after five years, the civic body claims to have upgraded itself on the communication, manpower and technology fronts.

Mumbai: With the memories of July 26 deluge
still fresh in the minds even after five years, the civic body
claims to have upgraded itself on the communication, manpower
and technology fronts.

"We pray that 26/7 deluge like situation does not come
again. In any case, we are better prepared today," Municipal
Commissioner Swadhin Kshatriya said here.

On 26 July 2005, 944 mm of heavy rainfall coinciding with
a tide of 4.48 metres marooned the entire city with
unprecedented floods which left over 400 dead.

Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), which
received flak after the deluge, undertook several measures to
ensure Mumbaikars do not face problem during monsoon.

"We have undertaken several measures including BRIMSTOWAD
project, widening and deepening of drains, installing pumping
stations, forming rescue teams and upgrading the communication
system," Kshatriya said.

The civic body undertook infrastructure activities like
widening and deepening of Mithi River, Dahisar, Poisar and
Oshiwara River and drains, installing pumping stations.

Chitale committee report said Mithi river stretch near
Krantinagar, Kurla, should be widened to 100 metre downstream
and 40 metre upstream to sustain rainfall of 100 mm in an

"MCGM completed widening of the river last year, until
the culvert is widened, flooding would continue in the area,"
an official from the disaster management cell said.

The civic body also undertook measures to mitigate
flooding by augmenting storm water drain (SWD) system.

"Since 2006, SWD system is being cleaned and desilted
with an annual expenditure of about Rs 50 crore. Eight pumping
stations are to be installed to discharge incoming storm water
into the sea. Of those eight, two stations are ready this
monsoon - Irla in suburban Vile Parle and Haji Ali in south
Mumbai," Joint Municipal Commissioner S S Shinde said.

About 196 pumps have been provided at 189 locations.

MCGM has installed automatic weather stations and rain
gauges to get real time data on rainfall.

"There were two weather stations - Colaba and Santacruz.
IMD provides information about rainfall every 24 hours. The
first decision was to set up automatic weather stations which
gives information every 15 minutes," he said.

Currently, there are 35 automatic weather stations,
Shinde said, adding, "flow gauges are installed at upstream of
Mithi River to monitor water flow and warning is issued to the
people living in the down stream."

MCGM initiated measures to respond to floods by providing
temporary shelters, that are usually Municipal schools, about
four-five each shelters were being identified in all the 24

In 2006, flood rescue teams were formed which are
provided with boats and other necessary equipment.

Six navy teams, two State Reserve Police Force and
three of the National Disaster Response Force will be deployed
at flood-prone areas. Round-the-clock control room will
coordinate with the army, navy, police and hospitals,
according to officials.

"Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) has been set up with
hotlines which are connected with several agencies including
fire department, Mantralaya, hospitals and others. This year,
similar control rooms are set up at all the 24 wards," Shinde

This monsoon, about 95 per cent of the desilting work of
nullahs is over. Anyone caught dumping garbage or plastic into
the rivers and nullahs, fine ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 5,000
will be imposed, the officials said.

Since 26/7 deluge flooding spots have gradually
decreased. While there were 371 chronic flooding spots in
2005, it came down to 89 in 2009.

MCGM has identified 249 spots prone to water-logging,
of which, 55 are chronic. These include Milan subway, Andheri
subway, Kalachowkie, Kurla and Dadar.

MCGM is also taking help of the traffic department`s
CCTV project to monitor water logging in the city, they added.


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