Monsoon preparations in full swing in Maharashtra

Monsoon preparations in full swing in Maharashtra

Representative image. (Credit: AFP Photo)

With the southwest monsoon a little more than a month away, pre-rain works have commenced in the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Since the COVID-19 pandemic cases shooting in Mumbai and its suburban areas that are expected to compound during mid-May, the government is not taking any chances. 

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In the MMR, monsoon brings in several days of traffic disruption and surge in cases of water-borne and vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue and leptospirosis. Monsoon also sees cases of flu and influenza. 

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has already held meetings with Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR). Municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi spoke with general managers of CR and WR to discuss pre-monsoon work and it has already started.

"While we respond and fight COVID-19, we have already started pre-monsoon work which includes cleaning of rivers, streams and nullahs, cleaning of railway tracks and fumigation," a senior BMC official told DH.

Similarly,  strategies have been discussed with the Mumbai metropolitan region development authority (MMRDA) and other agencies and utility services BEST,  Mahadiscom,  Adani Power, Tata Power.

"The IMD had forecast normal monsoon, besides,  there could be pre-monsoon showers, as well," a senior official said.

According to Dr Suhas Pingle, chairman, action committee, Indian Medical Association-Maharashtra State, precautions needs to be taken.  "Over the last couple of years, there has been a reduction in incidents of malaria and dengue in Mumbai city.  However, in suburbs, yes, there are cases." Majority of malaria and dengue cases are reported in the July-August period. 

The MMR has nine municipal corporations, nine municipal council and is spread over the three districts of Mumbai City,  Mumbai Suburban, Thane and parts of Palghar and Raigad districts. 

Doctors point out that in malaria and dengue blood platelets drop.  "With COVID-19 around, the blood donation has dropped.  We cannot take chances and hence extensive fumigation and spraying of larvicides is needed," they said.