The revised development plan (DP) for the city may just be able to tell you where you can go if an earthquake strikes the city. As part of the revised DP, the consultant will have to map the whole city according to risks faced by each area, and list the areas according to their vulnerability to such disasters.
It was the earthquake and a tsunami that rocked Japan on March 11 killing thousands that has raised several questions over Mumbai’s disaster response and its preparedness. Officials, however, said these issues would be resolved in the revised development plan.
A senior civic official, who did not wish to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said, “The consultant will be told to first figure out the various risks that the city faces, in terms of natural disasters. Once this is done, we will then be mapping the whole city and its areas in terms of it being vulnerable to those risks.”
The official said such mapping would then enable the civic body to plan measures to fight such disasters. “For instance, as far as flooding is concerned, we already know about low-lying areas. Making use of the consultant’s conclusions, we will then be suggesting measures that should be taken while planning further development of the area. This will ensure that such a disaster won’t do much damage to the area.”
Also on the cards would be measures like building earthquake-resistant buildings in the city. Another senior civic official said, “A city like Mumbai has to have quake-proof infrastructure, or else we will be facing a huge catastrophe whenever an earthquake of a higher magnitude hits us. So, this will be one of the recommendations of the disaster mitigation roadmap as well.”
Confirming this, joint municipal commissioner SS Shinde said, “This brief given to the consultant is in accordance with the state’s notification, which had instructed that risk from natural disasters be included while revising the DP.”
Shinde said that Japan’s disaster has made the civic body wiser. “We need to take lessons from their handling of the disaster and, accordingly, incorporate them wherever we are found to be lacking.”