Identifying flooding and landslide spots in the city, working on the monsoon website to display weather updates and holding training camps for citizens are few of the many ways in which the disaster management cell of the civic body is bracing itself to tackle monsoon-related disasters this year.
In addition to these, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has also sent out a request to national disaster response force (NDRF) stationed at Talegaon, Pune, to pre-deploy its teams in the city before June 15. “They have assured us that since their base is at Talegaon, which is well connected to the city by the eastern-express highway, they will provide services quickly,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner.
The NDRF teams will help the BMC during the monsoon by providing specialised relief in cases of building collapses and drowning caused by floods.
“In 2010, three teams were pre-deployed by the NDRF in the city. But there was no deployment last year,” said a senior official of the BMC’s disaster management cell.
Drowning deaths, on the other hand, have risen in the city in the last two years. While in 2009, seven deaths were reported due to drowning, the figures rose to 15 in 2010 and to 26 in 2011.
The BMC will be taking precautionary measures with a two-level presence by deploying flood rescue teams of the Mumbai fire brigade at the city’s beaches on high tide days, weekends, holidays and days of heavy rains. Ordinary-level presence would also be ensured as 36 life guards will be put on patrol duty.