IMD did not give any warning, says collector

Metereological department says it does not have the facility to provide localised warnings.

Written by Nisha Nambiar | Pune | Published: August 5, 2014 11:34:07 am
An NDRF member coordinates the rescue operation, six days after the tragedy. Police have roped in members of the local panchayat for help.  ( Source: Express photo by Pavan Khengre ) An NDRF member coordinates the rescue operation, six days after the tragedy. Police have roped in members of the local panchayat for help. ( Source: Express photo by Pavan Khengre )

The district collector said it had not received any warnings from the India Meteorological Department or the IMD about the heavy rain on July 30 that led to the Malin tragedy. To this the IMD officials said it does not have the facility to provide special localised warnings.

On the day landslide occurred in the Malin village, the rain gauge at the Dimbhe Dam had registered108 mm rainfall, District Collector Saurabh Rao said but he had not received any warnings regarding exceptionally heavy rainfall. “Even as the entire district was under a spell of good rainfall, there was no special warning given for the Malin area,’’ the collector said.

As per the area-wise rainfall is updated at the collectorate, the area near Malin village — including the Dimbhe Dam — had recorded 108 mm while it was estimated that there was more rainfall in the village.  “With no rain gauges in this area, we are not sure about the exact rainfall but it was much more than what was recorded at the Dimbhe Dam,” said an irrigation official.

While it is a known fact that the area receives good rainfall, the officials maintained that there is no provision of a warning signal by the Met department.

“We do not keep such localised data. We have data of Pune city and rural area but not in detail. The dam details are updated at the collectorate. However, these are not the exact details as the villages on the hill tops and hill slopes especially surrounding this area receive much rainfall,’’ the official added.

State Director of state district disaster management authority  Idzes Kundan said the Met department gives warnings about heavy rains but this time nothing specific was given. “This is a natural calamity. However, there was nothing specific regarding the rainfall,’’ she said.

According to the collectorate, if the rainfall is more than 67 mm, then people can approach the collectorate if there is any damage to life or property. “If there is any kind of crop damage or even house collapse due to heavy rains, then a panchnama is conducted and the compensation is decided after assessment,’’ the official said. However, as there are no means to gauge the rainfall in the local areas, the locals fail to avail these provisions.

Meanwhile, Collector Rao who was at the spot on the sixth day conducting the rescue operations said 129 bodies have been recovered. There is more area to be excavated and more machines are been used for the operations. “We are conducting the operations very systematically and in the present conditions it looks like it will take more two days to excavate the bodies,’’he said.

The collector added that they have deployed surveillance teams to all the houses in the areas and have roped in hospital staff for house to house check ups.

The mass cremation is being done on the government land which was dedicated for an ashram shala which is close to the village. “All the necessary precautions are being taken while officials of all departments including irrigation, PWD, police and district administration are working along with the NDRF to complete the rescue and relief operations. We have enough force from the NDRF and do not require more as of now,’’ the collector said.

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