The Karnataka government on Saturday launched “Meghasandesha" App that would provide real-time information as well as forecast on rains, flooding and thunderstorm alerts in Bengaluru.
"Stepping out? Get weather reports in advance! Download #Bengaluru Megha Sandesha app that generates real-time rainfall , flood, lightning, thunderstorm alerts #BBMP Ward & Zone-wise," B.H.Anil Kumar, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP, the city's civic body) commissioner posted on Twitter.
The app has been developed by Karnataka state natural disaster monitoring centre along with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Department of science and technology among others.
The app is launched at a time when Bengaluru, among other parts of the state, has been receiving heavy rains that has once again revealed the chinks in civic infrastructure in India's technology capital.
A dedicated portal, Varunamitra, was also launched that aims to leverage technology driven solutions to manage and mitigate the Urban Floods, the BBMP said in a statement on Saturday. The Government of India has set aside ₹200 crore for disaster mitigation, BBMP said.
Karnataka, considered one of the most developed states, sees extremes in climatic conditions with some parts receiving bountiful rains leading to floods and others that endure droughts. Over a 100 people died in last year's floods that ravaged several districts of the state including Belagavi, Bagalkote, Chikmagaluru and Kodagu among others.
"Four NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) teams are being pre-deployed to Belagavi, Dharwad, Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu districts. Apart from this one NDRF Regional Response Team is stationed in Bengaluru," the government said in a statement.
"We will also be creating our own State Disaster Response Force, to help us manage Disasters," the statement added.
Bengaluru, Karnataka's growth engine and home to over one third of the state's population, witnesses flooding, tree fall, overflowing of sewage and roads falling apart each year due to the rains that bares the chinks in its grossly inadequate civic infrastructure.
"Urban flood normally occurs due to lack of adequate storm water drainage system in the urban areas and / or blocking of storm water drains either by silt deposition / garbage.
Encroachment to natural drainages, Concretisation and little open soil space left for the rain water to percolate in to the ground, more than 80% of rain water turns in to surface runoff and causes inundation or floods," the statement adds.
The district administration said that Bengaluru has taken up a demand driven Project on “Urban Flood Model (UFM) for the city which includes providing a hydrologic model and associated systems for issuingflood / inundation forecasts for Bengaluru city for different rainfall quantum and intensity.