Mumbai rains: IMD issued a red alert, did BMC ignore it?
Had Mumbai's civic body reacted to a red alert from Indian Meteorological Department the loss of life and property in Mumbai rains could have been contained. Scientists from the IMD issued a red alert to Mumbai and other parts of North Konkan four days prior to the deluge that left the city stranded and desperate.
Dr D S Pai from the Pune Climate Prediction centre of IMD confirmed to Oneindia that a red alert was indeed issued to the civic bodies in the region of north Konkan including Mumbai. "We issue alerts to broad regions like Konkan-Goa etc. We have a regional office in Mumbai's Colaba and a warning was issued to the government as well as the BMC. A red alert was issued almost four or five days ago. The indication was very clear," he said.
The BMC meanwhile maintains that no such alert was given. Authorities from the Bruhanmumbai municipal corporation claim that the alert was only for heavy rainfall. Scientists at IMD beg to differ. "Alerts for short rains can be given three to five days earlier. The information is publicly available on the website. Alerts are issued for heavy, very heavy and extremely heavy rainfall. The red alert for extremely heavy rainfall was issued to Mumbai and other parts of North Konkan," Dr Pai added.
Interestingly, the BMC officials maintained that the warning did not mention 'Mumbai' but did the officials not know that the city comes under the broad region on north Konkan? IMD claims that apart from issuing a red alert for the broad region, the scientists followed up the status every three hours and kept the government and the BMC in the loop.
The lack of preparedness despite a warning led to severe loss of life and property in Mumbai. While Mumbaikars struggled to keep themselves afloat, the BMC struggled to figure if Mumbai came under the North Konkan region.