Officials of both the Indian Meteorological Department and Karnataka State Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) have rubbished reports stating ‘flood alert’ or ‘heavy rainfall’ alert in Bengaluru in the upcoming days. The reports have appeared in at least four major English dailies.
“What is the basis for those reports? No such heavy rain is there. There is a possibility of light to moderate rainfall in Bengaluru in the next five days,” CS Patil, Director and Scientist at IMD, Bengaluru told TNM.
Corroborating the IMD’s statement, the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre too rubbished these claims. “I don’t know what is the basis for this. There is no such rainfall forecasted. There are systems to understand, vulnerable points and correctly alert people at an appropriate time. But as of now, for the next one week there is no heavy rainfall predicted. I don’t know why reports said that Bengaluru flood,” Shubha Avinash, Scientific Officer, (Hydrology) told TNM.
The official bulletin issued by IMD on Saturday as on 9 am states that Bengaluru would have a cloudy sky with a few spells of rainfall. “Surface winds very likely to be strong and gusty at times. Maximum & Minimum temperatures very likely to be around 25 and 20 degree Celsius respectively,” it added.
Even in the latest IMD’s warning to district authorities, there is no mention of a red warning in Bengaluru.
The reports come as significant portions of northern, central and coastal Karnataka are reeling under floods with 24 deaths confirmed. There are landslides and roads caving in cutting off rail and road networks, People have been evacuated from vulnerable locations and are being sheltered in relief camps.
When contacted, BBMP officials declined to comment on the media reports but confirmed that the Mayor held meeting on Friday with regards to precautionary measures to be taken in case of torrential downpours.
Randeep D, Special Commissioner, BBMP, told TNM, “I have issued a circular asking staff not to leave headquarters in the next three days as a measure of preparedness. I am not the authority to forecast rainfall. Our directive stands in case it rains or does not rain.”
In that meeting, the Storm Water Drain Department of the BBMP presented a list of more than 170 vulnerable points in the city including major junctions in the central business districts even spread over eight zones of the city. The full list is reproduced below.