No rain alerts for Navi Mumbaikars

Jul 05, 2012, 07:22 IST | Saurabh Katkurwar

NMMC rolls back its decision to start a monsoon disaster update feed on social networking sites; officials cite lack of infrastructure

While authorities are expected to issue alerts and instructions to people about calamities in the city during monsoon, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has surprisingly retracted its decision to start an initiative for the same.

No Net-working: NMMC had earlier decided to keep citizens informed about incidents like waterlogging and tree falling by updating feeds on Facebook and Twitter. File pic

A few days ago, NMMC had decided to keep Navi Mumbai citizens informed about incidents like floods, waterlogging, tree falling and heavy rains during monsoon by updating feeds on Facebook and Twitter. However, NMMC has since rolled back its resolution after officials realised they did not have the right infrastructure to conduct the emergency service.

“Initially we had decided to send feeds through Facebook and Twitter, but we had to cancel it when we realised that we do not have enough technology and equipment to operate the service. We don’t have a strong Internet connection to manage the huge traffic of feeds that would be expected once the facility is started. We are capable of initiating the service, but it may become non-functional at any point due to lack of adequate infrastructure. So, we have decided not to start the facilitation this year,” said an NMMC official, who requested anonymity.

Had the initiative ensued, Navi Mumbai citizens would have had access to real-time updates on possible disasters this monsoon. In addition, people would also have had the facility to inform the corporation about any mishaps in their locality, which would have helped the civic body take immediate action.

Second thoughts!
When contacted, JN Sinnarkar, deputy municipal commissioner (headquarters) of NMMC, denied reports that lack of equipment had led to the rollback. “We had not announced anything in this regard officially. We were mulling the initiative of commencing the emergency service through Facebook and Twitter but have found that our present setup is ample enough to make people aware of any calamity or adversity in the city,” said Sinnerkar.

When asked whether the service would be introduced next year, Sinnerkar said, “We can not say that at this point of time. We may start it next year, if we feel it is necessary.”

Man drowns, another electrocuted
Two men died in Navi Mumbai yesterday in isolated incidents. An unidentified 30-year-old man drowned in Agroli lake in Belapur while swimming with three friends at 11.45 am.

According to witnesses, the deceased’s companions fled the scene when he drowned. “I saw four people in the lake at around 11.15 am. However, 30 minutes later, I saw a body floating in the water, and the others nowhere in sight. We immediately informed Belapur police and the fire brigade,” said an Agroli villager. Cops pulled out the body around noon with the help of the firemen, and sent it to Vashi hospital for post mortem.

In another fatal incident, a lineman died while his co-worker was badly injured after they received a high-voltage shock while repairing a technical snag in a housing society. The deceased has been identified as Ravi Totta (27). The other, Sanjay Rathod, is battling for life at Indrayani Hospital. Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd officials are currently investigating the incident. 

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