With just days left before the monsoon hits the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has drafted a pre-monsoon plan. In an attempt to prepare itself to counter any untoward incidences during the rainy season, a disaster control cell the Greater Mumbai Disaster Management Authority (GMDAM) has been set up by the municipal corporation.
With flooding one of the main concerns which has caused major havoc for Mumbaikars, most notably the 2005 deluge 40 chronic flood-prone areas have been identified and marked. Also places likely to be flooded this monsoon have been reduced to 66, unlike last year’s 81 in wake of the recent construction measures undertaken by the civic body. Low-lying areas, which are always flooded, have also been taken into consideration. To make these places flood-free, 185 locations will have about 220 pumps placed to suck out excess water.
Desilting of the major nullahs across the city is also in process. The work, which started in the month of May, is in its last phase of completion. Silt accumulation will help in reducing the chances of floods in the city.
With trees also posing a threat during the monsoons, in order to avoid any loss of lives due to falling branches, the BMC has trimmed around 18,750 trees and uprooted another 711 dead trees.
The civic body will launch a website that will provide citizens with up-to-date information about the rainfall and areas likely to be flooded. This will enable the citizens to make informed decisions regarding the best time to step out and suitable routes to take.
To prevent and control the spread of diseases that spread during the monsoons, (eg. dengue and malaria) the BMC has come up with ‘Mumbai Mantra’, which would involve taking steps such as effective vector control, early diagnosis, and complete treatment at civic-run hospitals. Plans have been formulated to create awareness regarding the spread of dengue among the masses. Preventive measures have also been taken.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta said, “There may be chances of flooding in June when the tide levels would rise up to five metres. During this period, the rainfall is also expected to be heavy. In such a scenario, people are advised from visiting beaches. The work of desilting is expected to conclude by June.”
Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said, “We have been successful enough in curbing malaria and now our aim is to do the same with dengue. We have also started relevant programmes for the same. We will soon be launching a new website (mumbaimonsoon.com) by next week, which will help people ascertain the prevailing situation during rains.”