Proposed 6 years ago, BMC’s hydrology cell is still not operational | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Proposed 6 years ago, BMC’s hydrology cell is still not operational

mumbai Updated: Sep 04, 2012 01:12 IST
Poorvi Kulkarni

Even as the city struggles to cope with water-logging, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) hydrology cell, proposed six years ago, is barely functional.

A hydrology cell can map floods and run-off levels, as well as study the city’s hydrological setting.

Comprehensive data gathered by the cell annually would help the civic body gauge and minimise the impact of flood-like situations and allow it to come up with preventive measures.

The hydrology cell was recommended in 2006 by a fact-finding committee that was formed under the chairmanship of Dr Madhav Chitale, to inquire into the deluge of July 26, 2005.

Although the cell was technically set up about a year ago under the storm water drains department, it is hardly effective. No data collection or analysis work has started yet.

“There is no technical engineering staff in the cell to conduct the required specialised study. Only the clerical and administrative posts have been filled,” said an official from the BMC’s storm water drains department who has been given the additional charge of the cell.

Experts said that this reflects the civic body’s lethargy towards implementing long term plans.

“Many of the recommendations that were made by the Chitale committee have not been pursued seriously,” said Nandkumar Salvi, former chief engineer (storm water drains) and panel member of Chitale committee.

The purpose of the cell was also to evaluate the effects of construction and developmental activities which alter the natural hydrological process in the city.

Laxman Vhatkar, chief engineer (storm water drains) claimed the process to recruit staff for the cell had started.