News Flash – 10 July 2019

National News



Heavy Rain takes a Breather, but IMD Alert sees Traffic Cops on road in force


Mumbai: Heavy rain finally took a break on Tuesday, with light showers at isolated places balanced by the sun coming out in others despite a forecast of heavy to very heavy rain. For Wednesday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) says light to moderate rain is likely at isolated places in the city and suburbs. Heavy rains are very likely in places at Palghar and Thane. From Thursday, light to moderate rain is forecast for the city and the adjoining areas for three days. Private forecasting agency Skymet said rain activity is expected to increase slightly on Wednesday and stay till July10. “We expect the monsoon surge to increase a bit and there maybe a few moderate rain spells. We do not expect heavy to very heavy rains though,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice-president, meteorology & climate change, Skymet. After warnings of heavy to very heavy rainfall (up to 200 mm) from IMD — shared widely on social media via a tweet by the @CPMumbaiPolice handle — the 12 hours till 8.30pm on Tuesday saw only 2.2mm (light rain) in Santa Cruz. But Monday was a different story: in the 24 hours ending at 8.30am on Tuesday, Santa Cruz record 130.4mm of rain, which falls in the very heavy category.



Acting proactively on the heavy rain forecast, the number of traffic policemen on the streets was boosted on Tuesday. During a heavy downpour earlier this month, two motorists in a vehicle drowned in the waterlogged Malad subway. “The increased police presence was keeping in mind the IMD warning. Also since a week, we have gone back to 12-hour work shifts,” said joint commissioner, traffic, Madhukar Pandey. “There was visible presence of traffic policemen on the streets. It helped clear congestion faster and kept traffic moving,” said an Oshiwara resident. Weathermen said monsoon has remained widespread and active over the entire Konkan belt, including Mumbai, with heavy rainfall over many places and isolated very heavy rainfall. Interior Maharashtra also received widespread rainfall. About the dry weather in Mumbai of Tuesday, Palawat said there is no permanent weather system affecting Konkan and Goa and so the monsoon surge is weakening at times and strengthening at others. “Between July 1-2, when Mumbai received extremely heavy rain, there was an active offshore trough right from south Gujarat to Karnataka coast and a cyclonic circulation was also near Konkan and Goa coast. This has now shifted towards south Gujarat and that is why the monsoon surge has weakened. But owing to strengthening of winds on Wednesday, we expect moderate spells,” he said.



CCTV & Hi-Tech Cameras to identify Vehicles involved in Accidents


Kolkata: With the city police receiving words of encouragement on Monday from chief minister Mamata Banerjee for successfully bringing down the number of accidents, the top brass has set another target for themselves. Kolkata traffic police is on a new mission to reduce the number of “unidentified” number of vehicles involved in accidents from as high as 16%-21% to around five percent. “Once we achieve this, claiming insurances for accident victims and their kin will become easier,” said an officer at Lalbazar. “This itself is a Herculean task, because we will have to identify the exact vehicle involved in an accident and then take the probe to a logical conclusion where the driver involved in the accident is brought to book. That will also mean having enough resources both manpower and technical expertise to track accidents on deserted high-speed corridors or those happening in the wee hours of the day,” said another officer. Police said they have identified five methods through which they plan to complete the task. The first part will involve installation of over 1600 cameras, including CCTVs, at vulnerable points.



“We will put these cameras at important intersections and at accident-prone points,” said a senior IPS officer. Two, cops have identified certain places that need Pan-Tilt and Zoom cameras (PTZ). “Do remember that in spite of having CCTV footage, we failed to read the registration number of the bike whose rider had dragged our constable for 200 metres at Beckbagan. The PTZ cameras have night vision and can read the number plates of vehicles,” said an officer. “We are in touch with the civic agencies too so that we can immediately inform them if any particular stretch is found to be dark in the evening, especially in accident-prone areas,” he added. Lalbazar is also emphasizing on getting more men out for patrolling at night. “While the night nakas have already left their mark, we are devising ways where we can sustain our drives. Even if a vehicle escapes after an accident, we need leads so that we can track them down,” said an officer. Police said that they were updating vehicle data record too. “The idea is to use a software where partial information can help us at least narrow down our search. This means getting data from several other RTOs outside Kolkata,” said an officer.

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