To find a permanent solution to the chronic flooding in Mithi River, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is considering construction of floodgates or a small dam at the mouth of the Mahim Causeway. The civic body will soon be appointing consultants for the ‘Mithi River Rejuvenation Project’.
The consultants will be appointed for conducting a feasibility study, prepare detailed Project Report and Project Management of Flood Control, beautification and rejuvenation of Mithi River and holding ponds in Mumbai. The consultancy services will cost the civic body around Rs 30 crore.
This is the third such plan proposed by the civic body that has been initiated to restore Mithi River or stop flooding in the past decade and a half. The ‘Mithi River Development Project’ included tasks of deepening and widening of the river. Similarly, in 2015, the BMC started ‘Mithi River Pollution Control Project’ to improve the water quality of the river.
In the latest move after areas around Mithi were flooded three times during monsoon in 2019. For starters, it was decided to appoint the consultants to find feasible solutions like the creation of artificial lakes or holding ponds along the banks and construction of barrage or dam with pumping arrangement at Mahim Causeway.
The 17.8-km Mithi River, which starts at Vihar Lake in Borivali, ends in Arabian Sea at Mahim Causeway.
According to officials, the idea is to prevent the entry of seawater into the Mithi River during high tide by the construction of a dam or floodgates with pumping arrangements at the outfall locations.
The BMC standing committee has already approved the project of diverting the excess rainwater or overflow of Vihar and Powai Lake that went into Mithi and Airoli Creek. “The appointed consultant will be given one year to prepare a detailed plan. Mahim Causeway is one location but other places will be checked for feasibility,” said an official from Storm Water Drainage Department.
Officials are confident that holding ponds and creation of dams or floodgates could help them eliminate long term flooding in Kurla, Chunabhatti and Sion areas from Mithi River. In the last five years almost every time during monsoon train services on all three lines were disrupted due to water logging.