Mumbai: 96% of desilting work over, says BMC

Senior engineers of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on Tuesday, said that, so far, they have completed nearly 96 per cent of the pre-monsoon desilting work in all the major nullahs in Mumbai. According to P Velrasu, additional municipal commissioner (projects), the civic body has been able to complete 102 per cent of the desilting in the island city, followed by 93 per cent in the eastern suburbs and 96 per cent in the western suburbs.

He informed that more than 68 per cent of the desilting has been completed at the Mithi River so far and 59 per cent of the desilting has been completed in minor nullahs. He also said that more than 4 lakh mega tonnes of silt quantity is being removed all over Mumbai and around 2.74 lakh MT of silt is being removed from the Mithi River.

Ahead of the monsoon, BMC had identified close to 405 flooding spots. The officials also said that various low lying areas have also been identified. Dewatering pumps have been kept on standby for the same. BMC has also taken up the repair work to widen the drainage networks.

"In the western suburbs, we have identified close to 79 low lying spots, out of which desilting and repair work has been finished in more than 55 spots. So, we expect less flooding and water-logging this year," said an official.

BMC is also constructing five underground water-holding tanks to abate floods. A senior official said that these tanks are equipped to hold water for more than three hours and each of the tanks has a capacity to hold 1 lakh litre of water at a time. They also said that out of the five tanks, two will be set up at chronic flooding spots - Hindmata Junction and Gandhi Market at Babasaheb Ambedkar Road. Apart from these two tanks, BMC has set up two more holding tanks at Pramod Mahajan Udyan (Elphinstone Road) and St Xavier's Ground in Parel.

Officials maintained that the tanks at Elphinstone Road and Parel will be bigger in size, from which the collected water will be either channeled to the sea or may be used for potable purposes after properly treating them.

"We have also identified chronic flooding spots in the eastern and western suburbs. After seeing the results of this project during the monsoon, we will be able to carry out the construction of similar tanks in the future at these spots," said another civic official.

Officials said that they are aiming to complete the construction of the tanks at Hindmata and Gandhi Market before monsoon 2021 and the remaining three will be completed by monsoon 2022. They also maintained that construction for the identified spots in the suburbs will commence immediately after the monsoon gets over.

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