Stuck in a flood in Mumbai? Boats to the rescue next year

Updated: Sep 16, 2019, 07:51 IST | Suraj Ojha

Police boats will help people commute short distances across flooded roads in emergency situations

The city came to standstill during the flooding of September 4, leaving many stranded. File pic
The city came to standstill during the flooding of September 4, leaving many stranded. File pic

With at least three occasions of chronic flooding across the city this monsoon, the city police have now have planned to buy their own inflatable boats to rescue people in case of emergencies. The police have also decided to set up a special squad that will solve transport woes of office-goers and students at reasonable fares. The execution might happen from next year onwards.

Heavy downpours had brought rail and road traffic to a halt in the past two months. The Mithi river overflowed, with its water flowing back into the city and on railway tracks around the Kurla area. The BMC had evacuated residents staying near the banks (Kranti Nagar etc). People stranded on the streets became victims of surge pricing and rejections by cab and auto-rickshaw drivers. App-driven cabs too resorted to exorbitant pricing.

Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve said, "We are planning to form a special squad which will be trained to help Mumbaikars during heavy rains and flooding." This squad will help people reach their homes or safe temporary shelters arranged by the civic body. "This will help people get transport facilities at reasonable rates. We are also planning to meet with app cab management to think of solutions to help commuters in such situations," Barve added. While the civic body is planning to make the city flood-free, Mumbai police have planned to get their own mini boats to be used on flooded streets.

Within a year, the city police will get another building that will be a replica of the office inaugurated by CM Devendra Fadanvis in 2015. The new building will an important point of administration in disaster-like situations. It will have a CCTV command centre that will be connected to the main police control room in the existing building and can be used for inter-department meetings during a crisis situation. "Behind the new building, there is another building where the SS branch office currently stands. We will demolish that building and build a replica of the new building," Barve explained.

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