This monsoon, the city will experience more days when the high tide will rise higher than the normal level as compared to the last few years, the civic body revealed on Monday. This means you have to watch out for flooding for many more number of days – 27, to be precise – when heavy rain coincides with higher high tide.
On 27 days between June and September, the height of the high tides will be more than the average 4.5 metres; the last few years have seen about 20 days when tide levels were unusually high.
The civic body has advised citizens to remain at a safe distance from the sea during such high tides and not enter the sea during the monsoon. “People should not enter the sea during high tide,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, additional municipal commissioner.
“People should listen to lifeguards and NGO volunteers deployed on the beaches.”
In the last three years, 54 people have died - 42 in the suburbs and 12 in the island city - and four were injured after they went swimming during the monsoon.
Currently, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has 34 lifeguards across all the city’s beaches. “The tide level does not rise as dangerously high as five metres this year, but even above 4.5 metres is dangerous,” a BMC official said, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Mhaiskar said: “We will augment the number of lifeguards as per suitability.”
No women lifeguards this monsoon
The BMC’s plan to hire women lifeguards has been dropped, at least for this monsoon. As per the plan, women were to be recruited as permanent lifeguards of the BMC and not on contractual basis.
The civic body was recruiting seven more permanent lifeguards, including three women as part of 33% women’s quota, but the three who appeared for the physical test did not clear it.