Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte today looked to shift responsibility away from the civic body for the woes Mumbaikars had to face at the start of the monsoon by blaming the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
Kunte claimed that it was due to the IMD’s inability to give precise forecast, which led to the rains disrupting the city.
The Municipal Commissioner conceded that there was water-logging at various areas in the city at the start of the monsoon season, but indirectly blamed IMD for not giving accurate forecasts before time.
“This is a multi-agency exercise and lot depends upon how quick and timely we can mobilise our infrastructure. IMD didn’t warn us in time but informed us about ‘heavy to very heavy rainfall’ prediction after the city faced water logging,” said Kunte.
He also said that the IMD had predicted monsoon would reach the city on June 15 but it arrived ahead of time on June 8-9.
Giving the example of ‘Superstorm Sandy’, he said that it hadn’t affected New York City because they had the warning approximately 7 days before storm arrived and the city administration had time to handle the situation. “It depends upon the IMD prediction,” said Kunte.
Kunte observed that water logging would occur if there was 65mm rainfall in an hour and it coincided with high tide levels of 4.5 metre and above.
Kunte was replying to the criticism by city corporators during general body meeting. Opposition leader Dnyanraj Nikam had alleged that the civic administration failed to handle the flood-like situation because lack of pre-monsoon work.
Bharatiya Janata Party, one of the ruling parties in the BMC too blamed the civic administration for the mess. “The state government as well as the BMC administration is responsible for the water logging in the city,” said BJP corporator Dilip Patel.