Mumbai: 2020 landslide cracks endangering water pipeline under Babulnath Temple

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Sunday, November 20, 2022, 09:19 AM IST
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Babulnath Temple | File

Mumbai: Water supply to certain areas in north Mumbai may get disrupted for a few days if the BMC does not initiate urgent action to fix the increasing soil erosion and widening cracks at Babulnath Temple next to Girgaum Chowpatty.

The Malabar Hill reservoir’s water pipeline passes under the temple’s steps. To avoid inconvenience or any mishap in future, the BMC has planned to repair the steps, compound walls and pipelines but has been stalling action.

The cracks, noticed following a landslide in 2020, have been widening every month. The compound wall of the temple has also weakened and has begun to lean on one side.

In case of any landslide incident, the underground pipelines (ranging between 300mm and 1200mm diameter) may get damaged, affecting water supply.It could also lead to loss of human lives, civic officials fear.

In 2020, heavy rainfall had caused the landslide at BG Kher Marg that connectsMalabar Hill to major junctions of Hughes Road, Nepean Sea Road and Pedder Road. As a result, pipelines supplying water to the area were also damaged. Fixing underground lines and rebuilding the road was a challenging task for the civic body. After nearly two years, the work to rebuild BG Kher Road is expected to be complete by December.

A civic official said that to carry out repair work of the pipelineunder the stepsatthe temple’s Karwachauth Point till Malabar Hill would require barricading two to three metres of the area and extra manpower. For good results, the BMC has decided to not re-tender theprojectandawardthe contract to M/s CR Shah, a contractor who quoted 7.5% above the estimated cost. The cost of the work will be nearly Rs2.61 crore and is expected to complete in four months.

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