Cities & Architecture

Chennai to Get Flood Warning System

The system is expected to go online by February next year.

Staff and visitors move from a flooded government hospital after heavy rains in Chennai on December 1, 2015. Credit: PTI

Staff and visitors move from a flooded government hospital after heavy rains in Chennai on December 1, 2015. Credit: PTI

Sunderarajan Padmanabhan writes for India Science Wire.

Shillong: Chennai, which of late has been experiencing flooding, is all set to get a comprehensive flood warning system being developed by several national agencies and institutions. The project is being implemented under the supervision of a high-power committee led by the former secretary of the ministry of earth sciences, Shailesh Nayak. The initiative was taken by the office of the principal scientific advisor after the devastating floods the city experienced in 2015.

Speaking to India Science Wire here, Nayak said the work was progressing well and that the system is expected to go online by February next year. It would keep track of heavy rain events and produce forecasts accounting for multiple relevant parameters, such as tide heights in the Bay of Bengal and water levels in reservoirs feeding the city as well as in the Adyar and Cooum rivers that run through it.

The institutions involved in this exercise include the India Meteorological Department, the National Central for Medium Range Weather Forecast, the Central Water Commission, the National Disaster Management Authority (national level) and the Tamil Nadu Government’s Irrigation Department. As for the academic front: IITs Powai and Madras are designing and developing the system. It will be managed by the Chennai-based Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management (ICMAM) project under the ministry of earth sciences.

“Information about rainfall, tides, reservoir and river levels and other parameters will flow from IMD and other agencies into ICMAM. It will analyse the data and disseminate the forecasts to NDMA, State Government and other stakeholders,” Nayak said.