The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday launched an SMS weather alert system in the city and the state to issue warnings for heavy rain to government agencies.
The IMD took this decision during their annual cyclone review meeting to ease the process of issuing alerts for heavy rain instead of e-mails and faxes, which were proving to be an ineffective tool of communication.
"Other government agencies take time to reply to alerts. We thought text messages were direct way of communication, as they are checked promptly and acted upon," said VK Rajeev, director, IMD, western region.
For the next 36 hours, the IMD expects heavy rain and has sent out messages to agencies such as the Western Railway (WR), BMC control room, Mantralaya, chief secretary of the state, principal secretary to the chief minister and BEST undertaking.
IMD will also send out such alerts to disaster control departments of several districts. "Since railway services and traffic are adversely affected during heavy rain, we are hoping these alerts would help them," Rajeev said.
"Our control room has received an alert message. This would help in monitoring our preparedness," said Nitin David, PRO, WR.