Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday rapped the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for its ‘failure’ to tackle the waterlogging issues in Mumbai. Accordingly, the court directed the civic body to complete the installation of a Doppler radar in suburban Andheri within a period of 18 months.
A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudesai observed, “We see the same situation every year. The citizens have to suffer every year because of waterlogging during monsoon.” The observation was made while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Atal Bihari Dubey on the heavy rains that brought Mumbai to a halt in June 2016. The PIL seeks directions to the government and the BMC to immediately implement the recommendations of the government-appointed committee, which suggested the installation of an additional doppler radar in the suburban Mumbai. At present, there is only one such doppler radar system, at the Colaba weather station.
The bench was irked at the BMC, which has been dragging its feet on the issue. The bench, accordingly, granted 18 months’ time to the civic body to set up the Doppler radar system at Veravali water reservoir, Andheri east. The site is near the Mahakali caves area. During the course of the hearing, the bench asked the civic body about the status of the nullah cleaning, near railway tracks. The BMC counsel, however, could not make any submissions, as he had no information on this aspect.
Another bench had earlier directed the BMC to clean the nullahs alongside the railway tracks from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Mankhurd, so that the waste did not block the flow of water during monsoon, resulting in waterlogging on tracks.
The bench accordingly, directed the BMC to file a report if the work had started, and what stage it had reached. Further, the bench asked the civic body to also spell out the measures it has been undertaking till date to tackle waterlogging issues in the city. “We do not want the citizens to face the same issues every year. We want to know what you do during waterlogging and also the steps you propose to undertake in future,” the bench said.
The matter will be heard next on August 1.