iconimg Saturday, August 29, 2015

Vaishnavi Vasudevan , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, May 09, 2013
This monsoon, the civic body’s disaster management cell (DMC) has no plans to introduce any new initiative to tackle disasters. The cell said it will continue to co-ordinate with various agencies such as the fire brigade, ambulance, local ward offices and tree authority among others for immediate help during crises.

Last year, the department had introduced a website (mumbaimonsoon.in) to post real time information on weather, traffic and transport conditions. The website will be functional from June 15 this year.

“Mock drills and training programs for the members are ongoing. We have several helpline numbers and enough manpower to tackle situations,” said SS Shinde, joint commissioner (disaster management), BMC.

Residents do not agree. “Every year, the disaster management team reaches to us four to five hours after we make a call. By then our cars are already submerged and lives are gone,” said Surindra Kubchanadani, who stays near Khar subway.

Plans to tackle landslides, house collapse and tree collapse are also yet to be formulated. Last monsoon, the cell received maximum complaints — 445 — for tree collapse.

Activist Nikhil Desai from F-North ward has been complaining in vain to the DMC for three months about 55 open manholes in the ward. “The local ward office and central agencies just blame each other,” he said.