Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray Friday inaugurated the Integrated Flood Warning System (I-FLOWS) that he said will be a blessing and saviour for Mumbai city from all future flood-like situations.
“During the recent years, Mumbai’s rainfall has become erratic and it is difficult to gauge its intensity or time. I-FLOWS will be a saviour for Mumbai,” said Thackeray, during the digital launch of I-FLOWS developed by India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) functioning under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, M Rajeevan, Secretary (MoES), Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general, IMD and Ravi Nanjundiah, director, IITM, Pune were also present at the e-launch.
In recent years, Mumbai has been grappling with heavy rainfall and urban flooding during the monsoon, lending urgency to have real-time rainfall and flooding data.
I-FLOWS will be a guiding tool for the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation for swift decision-making in case of extremely heavy rainfall and flood-like situation in any part of Mumbai and its suburbs.
It has been built using city’s data pertaining to its topography, drainage system, elevation, population, infrastructure, land use, water bodies including rivers like Mithi, Dahisar, Oshiwara, Poisar and Ulhas located in and around Mumbai. These details along with real-time rainfall inputs will be collated onto a Decision Support System, that will be used by the civic body authorities.
IMD will be providing flood warning alerts through this system anywhere between six hours up to three days in advance. IMD offers Nowcast warning, which is valid up to six hours in advance and are issued for significant weather events in future.
“With the availability of advance information, it will be possible to mobilise machinery ahead of flooding anywhere in the city,” said Iqbal Chahal, Municipal Commissioner, Mumbai.
This monsoon season, a C-band radar will be deployed for Mumbai, informed Rajeevan. Currently, there are two weather radars scanning the skies of Mumbai and, with the addition of four C-band radars, meteorologists believe it will be the first-of-its-kind radar network installed over a small area in India.
He said, “We had placed order for four new radars for Mumbai but due to Covid-19 situation, the procurement process has been delayed. Within the next three to four months, a C-band radar will be installed. Once all the radars are operational, weather information can be relayed every 15 minutes covering an area of 500 meters of Mumbai.”