HYDERABAD: Hyderabad desperately needs a flood warning system and the latest deluge in the city is more than enough to highlight this necessity.Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai have all come up with a flood warning system of their own — IFLOWS, CFLOWS and Varuna Mitra, respectively. Unfortunately, the GHMC has nothing like this despite the city being home to a vast network of lakes, has reservoirs in its periphery and a river flowing through it.
It has been 10 years since the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had come out with the ‘Guidelines on Management of Urban Flooding’ but many of its suggestions, including those regarding flood early warning system, have not been implemented. This is despite the fact that Hyderabad had witnessed disastrous floods back in 2000 and later in 2016 and 2017.
Some of the suggestions that the NDMA had mentioned in its guidelines are installing state-of-the-art automatic water level recorders throughout the drainage network, which would relay real-time information and characterise the severity of a flood based on the recently observed data in real-time. The data would include rainfall depth or the flood forecasts generated from mathematical models.
The NDMA had also suggested that a ‘flood index’ be made depending on the combination of various climatic and hydrologic variables involved Associated with each flood index must be a flood management strategy with well-defined SOPs for each unit of an ULB, it had suggested. “There is no point in putting in place a flood warning system if the storage capacity, inflow and outflow channels of lakes are not restored.
The NDMA guidelines on a flood warning system must be revised as it does not mention anything regarding water levels in the lake and their management,” said lake protection activist Dr Lubna Sarwath.