In a first of its kind survey, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is making an emergency action plan – a plan to tackle issues such as overflowing dams, dam breaks and natural disasters such as earthquakes – for three dams that supply drinking to Mumbai.
The survey of the Modak Sagar, Tansa and Middle Vaitarna dams that are owned by the BMC follows directives of the Central Water Commission on dam safety.
The civic body has started the process of appointing an agency to conduct the survey. Within six months of the agency being appointed, the survey will be completed, officials said.
“There have been several dam-related accidents in the past. This is why the Central government’s dam safety organisation asked for a risk assessment survey that details an action plan,” said a senior official from the hydraulic department.
The agency will study factors such as how many villages will be affected if a dam breaks, areas that will get submerged and the extent of damage to life and property. The study will also list ways in which damage can be prevented.
The study report will be submitted to the Central Water Commission, the state government and the local collector’s office.
The BMC has allotted Rs85 lakh for the survey and action plan for the three dams. “We have made a provision for the survey in our budget. The survey report will have maps of affected areas and give us a detailed analysis of the disaster. This will help us be better-prepared,” said Ashok Tawadia, chief engineer, hydraulic department.
The Central Dam Safety Organisation rules state a dam break analysis and emergency action plan be made once every five years.
The survey of the three BMC dams was actually planned a few years ago, but with few experts to carry it out, the plan was delayed.
“The civic body has never done such a survey. We are now taking the help of a state-appointed agency. Recently, the state prepared an action plan for the Morbe dam with the help of an agency. We will ask them to advice is on our survey,” said another senior official from the hydraulic department.