Alert sounded with no clarity on floodlines

PMC has published pamphlets warning locals to remove their tenements out of flood-prone zones, but the demarcation of the said zones is not complete
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted above normal rain this year, making certain parts of the country prone to flood risks. Alerting residents of the city well in time, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has published a pamphlet warning them to take precautionary measures during floods.However, city-based architect, who had moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the issue of repeated river encroachments, Sarang Yadwadkar is not convinced by the administration’s efforts. He questioned, “When I asked the officials to locate the floodlines and how to identify if someone was in the flood-prone zone, nobody had any idea. How are they going to help people like this?“ While the civic body’s guidelines categorically advise locals to shift their temporary settlements from the floodlines, the work of demarcating the said lines has not been completed yet.Taking cognisance of the gravity of the situation in case a flood-like situation arises, round-theclock helplines have also been made available and citizens have been asked to contact the authorities in case of queries.

When Mirror contacted PMC’s helpline for information about whether a certain building is inside or outside the floodline, they asked us to contact the building permission department.However, Ganesh Sonune, head of PMC’s disaster management cell, said, “The flood-prone zones are yet to be marked, but we are removing all encroachments and shanties cropping up along the river bed. Besides, when the need arises for releasing water in case of heavy rain, we are going to warn the buildings and other structures near the river like we have done previously. This would depend on the amount of water released.“

In April last year, the NGT had asked the irri gation department to assemble information on the flood-prone areas in the city. The tribunal had indicated that the blue line of the riverbed should be ready within 12 weeks and to publish it on the state’s irrigation or environment department’s website. Moreover, even though previous floodlines have been marked, the encroachments along the riverbed, including dumping of debris, has reduced the capacity of the rivers. Due to this, even if the quantity of water released is less, the swell will be more than anticipated.

A A Kapole, superintending engineer at Pune Irrigation Circle, said, “The flood-prone areas of the rivers have already been marked. The work of delimiting in the development plan of the city is ongoing and will hopefully be over in the next eight to 10 days. This will determine which plots might be flooded.“

Source : Mirror