Residents of Kurla (West), who have been facing heavy flooding for years every monsoon, can now expect some relief with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) taking a significant step to prevent the overflow of Powai and Vihar lake into Mithi River. The civic body has approved the proposal to divert the excess water from Powai and Vihar lake to Airoli Creek.
During every monsoon season, residents of Kranti Nagar, Kismat Nagar, Bail Bazaar and Taximen’s Colony suffer heavy waterlogging as Mithi river swells and overflows. The river floods due to heavy rainfall coupled with high tide. But another major reason for this is the excess water from the Powai and Vihar lakes being drained into it.
When the lakes are filled to capacity and start overflowing, the excess water goes into the Mithi River and eventually into the sea. However, since its width and depth has reduced over the years, the water floods these adjoining areas. Sometimes, the water even enters the airport’s runway at Santacruz, hampering flight operations. Similarly, rainwater inundates railway tracks between Sion and Kurla, bringing Central Railway services to a halt.
During 2019 monsoon, these areas around Kurla west flooded three times. Even this year, waist deep water entered houses during heavy rainfall twice.
The matter was raised by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporator from Kurla, Saeeda Khan, who had written to the then additional municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal in 2019. She had demanded that this excess water be diverted into the Airoli creek. The BMC had then invited bids for a feasibility study on diverting the water to the Airoli creek or Bhandup water treatment plant. The proposal was tabled before the standing committee on last Thursday and was approved by its members.
According to the proposal, the BMC will have to construct drains from Vihar lake to Airoli Creek to drain the water. The plan would also help increase the water supply to the city from 3,850 millions of litres per day (MLD) to 5,800 MLD, informed a civic official.
“I am happy that the BMC has approved the plan that is based on my proposal. If this water is diverted, it will give huge relief to the entire area, where thousands of people suffer every monsoon for decades,” Khan said.