Mumbai gets India’s second Integrated Flood Warning System

After Chennai, Mumbai on Friday got India’s second state-of-the-art Integrated Flood Warning System (IFWS) which will make it possible to predict floods at least three days in advance, enabling more lives to be saved.

It was jointly inaugurated by Union Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in the presence of top officials from both sides vide video-conferencing.

Vardhan said that with this, the scientists of MoES – who developed the IFWS – have proved that we are not less than anyone in the world in science.

“Mumbai floods, especially in 2005 and 2017, are etched in everyone’s memory. This highly advanced IFWS will help the people of the city in a big way,” Vardhan said.

Terming it as a ‘gift to the people of Mumbai,’ Thackeray said “The IFWS is a blessing for Mumbai in a situation where monsoon has become more difficult to predict. In the IMD had not given early warning of Nisarga Cyclone, the effect would have been disastrous. It is necessary to do flood management as Mumbai has some areas which are lower than the sea-level, making it difficult for water to drain out.”

The IFWS will help Mumbai become more resilient by providing early – at least 72 hours before, along with 3-6 hours Nowcast or immediate weather updates – flood warnings, especially during high rain and cyclones.

This would help evacuate people from low-lying areas as the forecast would be available in advance before a particular spot may get flooded, besides forecasting the amount of rainfall for each pocket.

MoES Secretary Dr. M. Rajeevan said that more than 160 observatories and 4 more radars (by 2021 season) have been ordered for Mumbai to enable forecasting rainfall with a precision of 500 metres and every 15 minutes.

BrihanMumbai Municipal Commissioner I. S. Chahal said iFlowsMumbai can be a model for the rest of India and expressed gratitude to the Centre for launching it well before the onset of monsoon 2020 in Mumbai.

IMD Mumbai’s DDGM K. S. Hosalikar said that four Doppler Radars for Mumbai will be installed by monsoon 2021 to make Mumbai, Maharashtra and the country more weather resilient.