NEW DELHI, INDIA (27 September 2018) — The Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) today launched a flood forecasting and early warning system (FFEWS) for Kolkata City to help city officials and citizens act decisively to minimize damage before and during disasters. 

India’s first comprehensive city-level FFEWS will reduce economic loss and impacts on livelihood and improve flood awareness and safety at community level. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded the design and implementation of the FFEWS through a $1 million technical assistance to KMC from its Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund under the Urban Financing Partnership Facility.

“We are happy to launch this system which will help reduce flood risks in Kolkata through prior alerts that will help officials and citizens to be better prepared in the event of flooding and water logging,” said KMC Mayor Mr. Sovan Chatterjee at the launch. The system has been designed to provide forecasts as well as real-time information on inundation, temperature, air quality, and other climate-related data through 400 sensor nodes.

The ultrasonic sensors fixed at key points across the city such as hot-spots identified as vulnerable to inundation during flood events, canals, pumping stations, traffic junctions, and schools, will send real-time data to a cloud-based dashboard. The input will be automatically analyzed with global information system data of Kolkata city. Risk information will then be shared with citizens and community groups through mobile alerts and radio/television messaging, to help them plan their daily activities, such as commuting, based on early warning and real-time inundation status.

 “The launch of FFEWS supplements ADB’s 20-year partnership with KMC to make Kolkata a more livable city through integrated planning and phased investments for resilience building and urban services improvement,” said ADB Country Director for India Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama.

ADB has been supporting the KMC through various interventions since 1998, including a $250 million loan under the Kolkata Environmental Improvement Project, which was completed in 2013, and a subsequent $400 million loan under Kolkata Environmental Improvement Investment Program. These projects are helping upgrade and expand the sewerage and drainage network in Kolkata, including flood-prone areas, increasing sewage treatment capacity, improving water supply, managing solid waste and increasing operation efficiencies. Flooding has already been reduced in about 4,800 hectares, and KMC expects further flood reduction in more than 6,000 hectares covered under the project.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

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