Rain gauges in Tapi to prevent floods in Surat

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SURAT: Flooding in Surat can be reduced and the city will get more time to prepare for floods, thanks to the advanced automatic rain gauge stations being set up by the Central Water Commission (CWC) in the catchment areas of Tapi river.

Official sources said that a network of about 24 automatic rain gauge stations in the Tapi catchment area from Betul district in Madhya Pradesh covering areas like Jalgaon, Shelgaon and Nandurbar districts in Maharashtra and at Surat and Sagbara in Narmada district would be functional by the end of this month.

The automated rain gauge stations will help in predicting the amount of water that will flow into the river during rains. This information will be relayed to the dams downstream which will store and release the flood waters in a controlled manner.

Since the Tapi flows 720 km before reaching Surat, a most of its catchment areas receive ample rainfall during monsoon. When it rains heavily towards August, the threat of flood looms as the terrain makes it difficult to divert the flow of water into the Ukai dam.

Tapi river rises in the eastern Satpura range of southern Madhya Pradesh and flows westward, draining Madhya Pradesh's Nimar region, Maharashtra's Khandesh and east Vidarbha regions in the northwest corner of the Deccan plateau and south Gujarat, before emptying into the gulf of Cambay in Surat.

"The automated rain gauge stations will be linked via satellite. However, the stations along the Tapi catchment area from Madhya Pradesh to Surat will collect accurate rainfall data that will help in keeping track of the water flow," said S K Mishra, executive engineer, CWC (Surat division).

According to Mishra, the station staff will record rainfall data and pass on the data to the CWC headquarters from where the information will be shared with the local district administration.