(Photo by Bhushan Koyande)
(Photo by Bhushan Koyande)

As Mumbaikars are bracing themselves for the monsoon, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), to ease up citizens’ woes, is working on an evacuation plan for flood-prone areas.

According to Hindustan Times, the BMC is working on an evacuation plan where it will alert the residents at least two hours in advance about flooding in their area. The civic body will implement the plan with the help of local corporators, members of advanced locality management (ALMs) and nearby police stations. The BMC is also hoping to tie up with mobile service providers to send out area-specific messages to residents in next monsoon.

A senior civic official told the leading daily, “A system will monitor how much rainfall was received by a flood-prone area, and refer to forecasts of rainfall expected in the area over the next four-five hours. Based on this and records of flooding in the area, we can predict if a flood-prone area is going to get waterlogged over the next few hours.”

As per the BMC's evacuation plan, the local coporators and other officials will inform residents about how much time they have before flooding begins in the area. These officials will also give details to residents regarding nearby civic shelters and pick-up points for evacuation. The local coporators and other officials will also alert the residents to carry their important documents. The evacuation plan is based on BMC's disaster management (DM) department’s disaster response and evacuation plan for residents living along the banks of the four rivers – Dahisar, Mithi, Oshiwara, and Poisar.

Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi told the Hindustan Times, “We are planning to generate scenarios based on rainfall predictions. Based on a certain scenario, we find out if a particular part of Mumbai is going to receive heavy rainfall. Then we can run the scenario to study the impact on our nullahs and low-lying areas, and figure out how many houses will be affected. We can then warn people if it is really severe and put more pumps to remove water.”

With the help of geographic information system (GIS), the BMC is now mapping out facilities available near a flooding spots. The civic body is also making a list of how many houses, residents, shop owners, schools and colleges will be affected due to flooding. It is also working on a system where the BMC can alert the disaster management department about the dangerous level of rainfall.

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