MMRDA's monsoon goof-up

Apr 08, 2012, 01:46 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Development authority invites bids for collection of tidal data to create ambitious mechanism for flood warnings just two months before monsoon; cites technical delay for not meeting March deadline

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) ambitious project — the Real Time Flood Forecast — touted as a mechanism to provide you with up-to-date information about flooding, will not be ready in time for the monsoon.

In February, the development authority had claimed that the entire mechanism would be ready by March 2012. However, only now has the MMRDA invited bids for the collection of tidal data along various creeks in the MMR. A senior MMRDA official said, on condition of anonymity, “The project will take at least six-eight months to be completed. There is no chance that it will be finished before this monsoon.”

When questioned about the delay, the MMRDA officials said that the BMC’s code of conduct was in effect from January up to February, and the authority was working on some technical issues, which the MMRDA had to study before inviting tenders.

The MMRDA’s hydrology unit decided to take up this project seven years after recommendations were made by the Chitale committee on measures that were needed to ensure that there wasn’t a repeat of the 2005 deluge. An official explained, “We will be setting up a mechanism for flood zone mapping that can issue early warnings in case there is heavy rainfall. Once the system is set up, it will be handed over to the Indian Meteorological Department.”

The MMRDA plans to collect tidal data and check the velocity of the water at 11 locations along various creeks and rivers of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.  

For a rainy day
Meanwhile, the BMC has installed 35 rain gauges in the city, which will be functional after June, said Mahesh Narvekar, BMC’s chief disaster management officer. “The rain gauges are installed at the fire stations in the city.”

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