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MUMBI-US agency hired to study city floods (2005 to 2015) submits report

COURTESY MIRROR SEPT 11

Rs 14,000 crore lost to floods in 10 years
US agency hired to study city floods (2005 to 2015) submits report
The report also says this about Mumbai’s planners – “major infrastructure development rarely takes into account the level of hazard.”
(Doesn’t this apply to the ongoing debate around cutting Aarey trees?)
| Shruti.Ganapatye@timesgroup.com
TWEETS @MumbaiMirror

Mumbai lost Rs 14,000 crore between 2005 and 2015 to floods caused by heavy rains, a report by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and top accounting firm KPMG has revealed.

The floods also left 3000 people dead during this period, including over a thousand who perished in the July 26, 2005 deluge when the city received 944 mm of rain in 24 hours, a 100-year high, the report says.


This is the first time a figure has been put to the devastation that Mumbai suffers every year in the rainy season. While USTDA and KPMG focused on 2005 to 2015, the city has been brought to a complete halt multiple times in every rainy season since.

This year already, rains have brought Mumbai to its knees thrice.

Just last week, the Mithi in spate combined with high tide, leading to massive flooding. Even Western Railway tracks went under water, a first in many years. Worst, however, was reserved for Kurla, where there was waist-deep water and1500 people from Krantinagar had to be evacuated.

The study, instituted by the Relief and Rehabilitation Department of the state government in March 2019, interestingly, observes that “major infrastructure development rarely takes into account the level of hazard.”

This is exactly what environmentalists have been shouting hoarse over as they oppose the state government’s decision to build a car shed for Metro 3 line at Aarey Colony. The car shed will not only lead to felling of over 2700 fully grown trees, the concretisation of the area, which currently acts as a holding pond during heavy rains, will increase the water flow into the Mithi, leading to floods worse than witnessed last week.

The report also says that “vulnerable areas prone to disasters are not being identified.”

The report titled ‘Flood Management and Vulnerability Assessment to Climate Risk for Mumbai Metropolitan Region’ was submitted to the government last month.

It suggests that an integrated platform be developed to share and analyse information collected from various sources. The report says that some tools like “drones, satellite images and emergency mobile apps” can be used to get early alerts.

 

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