26 July : In an effort to prevent floods in urban areas during monsoons, the Indian Meteorological Department will set up 55 Doppler weather radar systems across the country, including one at Kochi.
The Union cabinet has recently sanctioned approximately Rs 800 crore for the project, Shashidhar Reddy, Member, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) told a press meet in Kochi on Friday.
At present there are five such systems along the East coast to track cyclones.
In the first phase, 12 will be set up and within three to five years, all the 55 would be stationed in urban areas. "The radar at Kochi will be set up in the second phase," he said.
The sophisticated system will forecast the intensity of the rainfall within 200-250 km radius and also predict how much rainfall is expected to occur."We decided to look at urban flooding in a different manner only after 2005 Mumbai floods", he said.
Studies have shown that the area of rainfall in urban areas has been increasing, he further added.
Reddy said that the NDMA has now recognised the fact that urban flooding is now a major disaster which affects a large number of people and was dealing with it as a separate subject, delinking it from rural flooding.
The NDMA is in the process of evolving national guidelines for managing urban flooding with the involvement of all stakeholders, he said.
While preparing the guidelines, the authority would look into the natural and man made disasters and medical preparedness, he said.
The draft guidelines for flooding is expected to be ready in six months, while the guidelines for earthquakes, chemical industrial disasters, and cyclones have already been released.
NDMA is also preparing guidelines for landslides and tsunamis. The draft guidelines for tsunami are likely to be ready in a month and circulated to all states.
A review meeting was held on Friday and officials of Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur corporations made presentations.
Dr Kapil Gupta, of Mumbai IIT and S R Shukla, specialist on urban flooding were among those present. Courtsey DD NEWS