Tetrastemma freyae [Image credits: Mohandhas S Vignesh]
During the fag end of 2015, Chennai experienced severe floods resulting in the death of about 500 people and economic losses of about INR 50,000 crores. The flooding stranded the city and was termed a 'man-made disaster' resulting from irresponsible water management and rapid urbanisation. The northeast monsoon of the year left most parts of South India marooned, exposing how vulnerable our cities are to such catastrophes. That's when the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor took a major initiative to develop a real-time, integrated, urban flood forecasting system that was non-existent in our country. Soon after, a team of scientists from various institutes across the country, swung into action to develop the first-ever expert system in India to forecast floods. In a recent study, published in the journal Current Science, the researchers shed light on the development of the automated flood forecasting expert system.
Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, explore the effect the eastern ghats had on the floods in Chennai.
Flooding in urban areas in a major threat to life and property. While there is a focus on immediate relief to the victims after the flood, long term effects of the flood need to be explored in more depth. In a recent study, an international team of scientists explores the aftermath of the floods in Chennai in 2015 with regards to the potability of groundwater. The team shows that even five months after the floods the groundwater is still unsafe for human consumption due to heavy metal and microbial contamination.
Public transport in large Indian cities are often plagued with unforeseen delays, thanks to the traffic and inefficiency of the public transport system. Now, researchers have used the power of technology to make this a thing of past. Using concepts from data science, researchers have developed a simple web-based application that can accurately predict the arrival and travel times of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses in Chennai, based on historical data collected over a period of time. With such technologies, researchers say, the wait for a bus might soon be over for ever!