Kurla residents may get respite from flooding

Brimming over: Every year, the Mithi river overflows onto roads in Kurla and the aiport runway.

Brimming over: Every year, the Mithi river overflows onto roads in Kurla and the aiport runway.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate

BMC aims to prevent Vihar overflow

Residents of Kurla (West), who have endured monsoon flooding for years, can expect some relief with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) trying to prevent the overflow of Vihar lake into Mithi river. The corporation has invited bids for a consultant to conduct a feasibility study. The proposal was mentioned in the BMC budget as well.

Every monsoon, residents of Kranti Nagar, Kismat Nagar, Bail Bazaar and Taximen’s Colony suffer waterlogging as Mithi river swells. The river floods due to heavy rainfall coupled with high tide but another major reason is the excess water from the Powai and Vihar lakes being drained into it. When the lakes are filled to capacity, the excess water goes into the river and eventually into the sea. However, since its width and depth has reduced over the years, the water floods these areas. Sometimes, the water even enters the airport’s runway at Santacruz, hampering operations. Similarly, water comes on to the tracks between Sion and Kurla, bringing Central Railway services to a halt.

Nationalist Congress Party corporator from Kurla, Saida Khan, had written to additional municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal in 2019 after the Mithi overflowed three times last year. She had demanded that this excess water be diverted into the Airoli creek. The BMC has now invited bids for a feasibility study on diverting the water to the creek or Bhandup Complex water treatment plant. It has made a budget provision of ₹2.69 crore for this work.

“I am happy that the BMC has taken steps based on my proposal. If this water is diverted, it will give relief to the entire area, where thousands of people suffer every monsoon,” Ms. Khan said.

“We can’t control high tide or rain but if we control this excess water, it will be a huge relief. Every monsoon, we have to pay utmost attention to Mithi’s level and if it touches the danger mark, the NDRF is called in and these people shifted. It will prevent flooding at the airport and railway tracks too,” Manish Walunj, assistant municipal commissioner, L ward, said.

If it decides to go ahead with the proposal, the BMC will have to construct drains from Vihar lake to Airoli creek to drain the water.

In the long run, the BMC wants to have a flood mitigation system based on underground reservoirs, shafts, tunnels and piping systems. It has recently got the go-ahead to approach the Japan International Cooperation Agency for technical assistance to assess the feasibility of such measures. The BMC has already held meeting with experts from Japan in Mumbai and has set aside ₹5 crore for the study.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 3:49:30 AM |

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