Expect more hotlines, more space at BMC's revamped disaster cell

The BMC’s disaster management cell is likely to be revamped next month. The plan for a new, high-tech cell has been in the works for over two years.

The highly equipped cell will offer an improved system for registration of civic complaints: 51 phone line, up from the current 10, for its helpline, 1916. Citizens have often complained of being put on hold, owing to fewer phone lines, in times of emergencies.

Also, the cell will be shifted from the tiny basement in the BMC’s headquarters at CST to a 12,000-sqft space on the second floor of the same building.

A senior civic official said, “We will have more staff and new equipment, which will help provide better facilities to citizens. This will also increase the efficiency in monitoring the city, and, in turn, help resolve complaints quickly.”

BMC officials said the plan for the upgraded disaster management cell is in its last stages.

The cell will also monitor the staff’s work through wall-mounted cameras and the hotlines will be connected with all agencies concerned in the city.

Mahesh Narvekar, chief disaster management officer, BMC, was not available for comments.

What’s in the upgraded cell

~ Geographical information system-based command and control system

~ 58 wireless sets

~ 51 MTNL hotlines

~ HAM radios for backup if all lines stop working

~ Get feed from 4,000 CCTV cameras installed by state government, 230 of traffic police and 238 from the BMC



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