Twenty five automatic weather stations will be set up across the city to develop an early warning system for flood monitoring. The data would be used to provide information about the areas that are likely to be inundated and help the authorities plan evacuation and rescue measures. Two control rooms would be set up – at the Institute of Remote Sensing (IRS), Anna University and in Ripon Building - that would transmit data and deliver flood warning inputs such as extent of inundation according to increase in flow at waterways. The project would be taken up during the second phase of the study on flood risk mapping of Chennai and suburbs by the IRS. A total of 10 weather stations have been set up at the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board's substations for data collection to study impact of rainfall in various areas. Twenty five more weather stations would be installed in various places, including Tondiarpet, Ambattur Industrial Estate, Velachery and Thirumangalam.

This was announced by IRS Director M.Ramalingam at a workshop on flood risk mapping using air-borne laser terrain technology here on Monday. The detailed terrain map and digital elevation model generated from high resolution contour map can be used to give warning about flooding in the next 12 or 24 hours in a particular area.

The workshop was organised to share the site specific recommendations of the study for 36 flood-prone localities in Chennai with various government agencies. The recommendations include removal of obstructions in rivers and drains and their restoration to full width, lowering river bed and restoration of dilapidated culverts in railway lines and road.

Chennai Corporation Commissioner D.Karthikeyan said the findings and maps would be incorporated in the micro and macro drainage improvement project being taken up by the civic body in association with the Public Works Department under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

D. Anbazhagan, Chief Engineer, Water Resources Organisation, PWD, Chennai region, said thematic and lithology maps generated from the study would be useful in designing and implementing artificial recharge and flood drainage projects. “We will start restoring 29 water bodies in the city once funds from World Bank are sought under IAMWARM project,” he said. M.Deenadalayan, senior consultant, IRS and D. Thirumalaivasan, Associate Professor, IRS spoke.

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