BMC plans to set up climate change department

DMU chief officer Mahesh Narvekar said that he would talk to Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi to set up a climate change department.

BMC plans to set up climate change department

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is likely to add another department in the civic body. The disaster management unit (DMU) of the BMC is in favour of forming a climate change department. 

DMU Chief officer Mahesh Narvekar informed about BMC’s plan to form a climate change department. The chief officer said that he would talk to Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi to set up a climate change department. 

Narvekar was speaking at ‘Climate Crisis: Action for Tropical Coastal Cities’. Along with Narvekar, Mumbai Port Trust Chairman Sanjay Bhatia was present at the event to discuss the climate crisis in Mumbai and tropical coastal cities. 

During the discussion, the DMU chief officer said that Mumbai is already developed and more development is difficult in the city. 

“The 2005 flood was an eye-opening disaster. The small control room was upgraded to a large emergency operation centre monitoring the entire city. As it is an unplanned city, commuters from the suburbs travel south in the day, raising the population to four million, whereas the night population remains as low as 17,000. Evacuation of this uneven distribution of people becomes a huge challenge for the civic department during disasters,” Mahesh Narvekar said.

The DMU chief further informed that the BMC had just two weather stations earlier but the number has increased to 60. Moreover, there are more weather stations in various parts of the city which depict real-time air quality. 

Talking about the prevention of natural disasters, Sanjay Bhatia said that Mumbai Port Trust was working to prevent the same.

“On the eastern waterfront, our main agenda is to redevelop almost 200 hectares into an open space with a huge lake, which will work as a reservoir in times of floods. We have completely stopped the consumption of coal at the port, which will also decrease the impact on the climate. Even the new water transport initiatives, like hovercraft and Ro-Ro ferries, can be used to evacuate people during the time of emergency,” he said.

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Professor Kapil Gupta was also a part of the discussion and stated that development increases floods by nine times while suggesting that a few steps can be taken to counter climate change. 

Gupta said that green roofs at the top of the building can be made mandatory to compensate for the loss of green cover. "Installing a 1,000-litre water tank for rainwater harvesting decreases the loss of water by 43%," Gupta added.

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