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State to launch app to give prompt flood updates

 Debamoy Ghosh |  2016-08-24 23:11:14.0  |  Kolkata

State to launch app to give prompt flood updates

However, the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been expressing her concerns over Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) for releasing water without consulting the state and this app may be handy to the officials of state administration to measure the flood situation in the state.

Earlier, the department had developed a system – Soft Requirement Specification (SRS) which enables the administration to instantly take a stock of flood situations in districts on a real time basis. The system has been incorporated in the department’s website (www.wbiwd.gov.in) is now transferred to a mobile app.

“This is a first of its kind application which has been developed in West Bengal. No other state in the country has developed any app to measure the flood or heavy inundation by heavy rainfall. We have completed the process and are waiting for inauguration of the app,” said a senior officer of state irrigation and waterways department.

However, SRS system in the website has achieved success in Google’s analytics which measures the website traffic day in and day out.

“From July 23 to August 22 of current year, the irrigation department’s website has achieved 11,914 sessions, 5,569 users and 44.3 per cent of returning visitors. USA, UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, Israel, Bangladesh, Germany and some other countries are heading the chart in visitors list along with India. 

Website visitors from all the major cities of India are increasing the traffic here,” the officer said.
The officers, who have mentored the SRS and the newly developed app has researched the reason of such thick volume of website traffic. “The researchers are keen on knowing about the Bengal flood, its history and management. Many foreign research institutes are doing research on this subject. 

They are the regular visitors of our website. Many students and professionals staying abroad, who were concerned about their houses in flood prone areas, were regular visitors in our websites,” they added. The app will have three information windows – River Gauge, Rain Gauge and Signals.

As per the officials of the department, the earlier system of flood data collection was a bit lengthy and took almost a day to update. The executive engineers used to collect data and send it to the headquarters to update in the website. 

The administrative officials had no other choice than to wait till the message came from ground levels. Sometimes, the high ranked officers from the state secretariat had to call up District Magistrates for the instant flood updates. Then the department had developed SRS, which will automatically update itself with the real time basis as the executive engineers who have their own user name and password will update the information from the ground to the department’s website with the help of this system-software and high-end networking.

Now, with the use of new app, the dissemination of flood related information will be easier. “It will just take some minutes of update the flood information from the spot,” the officers added. At least 500 executive engineers who are presently in charge of River Gauge Station (RGS) and Rain Gauge Station (RGS) will update the data immediately from the spot of flood occurrence.

“Many other states have introduced Automatic Gauge Station. But sometimes, it gives faulty results. We are depending on the manual system as it gives accurate results every time,” said the officer.

The researchers of the state have found that the reason for flooding in the state is mainly due to high tidal effect and heavy downpour for deep depression. This results in the release of stored barraged water from the dams causing heavy inundations mainly in the low areas of South Bengal. But the state officials are now ready to combat with new app for flood management – for the dissemination of flood-data.

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