Mumbai: BMC gears up to avoid 26/7 repeation
Mumbai, Jun 4: July 26 is one date which Mumbaikars are unlikely to forget for a long time to come, and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has geared itself up to ensure that the denizens do not have to keep a date with history.
On July 26 last year, unprecedented floods had harassed Mumbaikars and hardly anybody from the city could escape its fury, having been affected in some way or the other. The floods were blamed on the polluted Mithi River.
There will not be an encore, claims the BMC which has undertaken cleaning and desilting of drains, ''nullahs'' and the river systems.
There is a 200-km-long network of ''nullahs'' in the metropolis of which 130 kilometres have been desilted and so have 94 per cent of the drains, say BMC authorities.
The BMC, in conjunction with the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), undertook cleaning and widening of the Mithi River.
It is also proposed to clear encroachments along the Poisar River and rehabilitate them elsewhere. Steps have also been taken to ensure there is no danger from the Dahisar River.
Roads too have been repaired. Requisite rehabilitative arrangements have been made for about 560 families whose buildings were identified as dangerous while another 48 buildings considered dangerous are being reviewed.
As an alternate arrangement, all wards will be provided with standby generator sets. All mobile companys will keep generator sets to ensure uninterrupted communication and fire brigade will also acquire a number of generators.
Six new regional fire brigade command centres have been set up at Byculla, Wadala, Vikhroli, Chembur, Borivali and Marol while new fire stations have become operational at Bandra-Kurla Complex, Kurla-Kamani, Motilal Nagar, Goregaon, Dindoshi-Malad, Shailendra Nagar, Dahisar and Chincholi Bunder-Malad. Six additional search and rescue teams, equipped with state-of-the art equipments, will aid the people during times of emergencies. In all, sixty officers have been trained in fire fighting and 16 swimmers for search and rescue operations.
Ward level disaster response cells will be set up and backed by additional manpower and equipments. In all, 600 homeguards have been placed at all wards to help in relief operations in case of calamity.
BMC sources said 26 automated rain gauges will be installed shortly and all wards will have 24 hour control rooms. Each ward will be provided with one JCB and two dumpers while five municipal schools in each ward have been identified to serve as transit shelters. It has also been decided that on days of high tide, when there is heavy rainfall warning, schools in low lying areas will be closed to ensure safety of the children.
A fully equipped emergency operations centre has been established at the BMC headquarters along with a media centre. People will be alerted through messages on TV channels, FM radio and on SMS.