The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will take a call on declaring holiday for schools and colleges in the city in the event of heavy rain, Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde announced on Wednesday.
Tawde, who is also Guardian Minister for Mumbai, had faced criticism for declaring holiday for schools in the rain-soaked city on July 9 in late morning when schools had already started by 7 am.
The minister held a meeting of officials of various agencies including the railway, police, BMC, MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) at the civic headquarters in south Mumbai.
“Disaster Management Unit of the BMC has now been entrusted to take a call on declaring holiday for schools and colleges in the city (in event of heavy rains).
“Officials of the disaster management cell of the BMC will hold a meeting in the morning at 5 am (on a day of heavy rain) and will decide by 6 am whether holiday should be declared for all schools, including those affiliated to CBSE, ICSE board, and colleges or not. All schools will have to follow directives of this cell,” Tawde said.
Explaining the logic behind the move, the minister said the disaster management unit knows better about the rain intensity and water-logging situation in various areas of city on a day of heavy downpour.
Heavy rain had lashed the metropolis for three consecutive days till July 10 before taking a break.
The incessant downpour caused water-logging in many areas of the island city and suburbs.
Tawde also said that the state government would set up a coordination committee comprising officers from various agencies to tackle monsoon emergencies.
According to an official of the Disaster Management Unit, Tawde directed officials to extend necessary support to citizens during emergencies due to heavy rains.
The meeting was attended by BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, top officials of Central Railway and Western Railway, MMRDA, Mumbai Police, IMD (India Meteorological Department).