Mumbai: BMC Initiates Demolition Drive To Clear Encroachments, Facilitate Mithi River Widening

Mumbai: BMC Initiates Demolition Drive To Clear Encroachments, Facilitate Mithi River Widening

After a long wait of 10 years, the BMC could finally carry out the first demolition of 56 commercial structures in Kismat Nagar in Kurla West on Monday.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Thursday, November 30, 2023, 10:07 PM IST
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Mumbai: BMC Initiates Demolition Drive To Clear Encroachments, Facilitate Mithi River Widening | FPJ

The Mithi River has been widened at several spots along its 17.8-km stretch from Powai to Mahim Bay over the past decade. However, work was affected due to 750 structures on a 900-meter stretch between Kalina Bridge to CST Bridge. After a long wait of 10 years, the BMC could finally carry out the first demolition of 56 commercial structures in Kismat Nagar in Kurla West on Monday.

Illegal structures along banks have affected widening of the River

Several illegal structures that have crept up along the bank have affected the widening of the Mithi River for several years. The river that flows past Kranti Nagar narrows to 60 meters as it flows below the Kurla-Kalina bridge, past Kismat Nagar, and flows below the CST bridge onwards to the Bandra-Kurla complex. There it widens from 100 meters to 220 meters as it approaches Mahim Bay. However, its widening stuck at several places because of encroachments.

BMC sends notices to such warehouses

The BMC's notices to such warehouses were challenged by the owners in court, which stalled the widening work. Dhanaji Hirlekar, assistant municipal commissioner, L ward, said, 'We could vacate one acre of area by demolishing 56 commercial structures. We have set a target of January 2024 to complete the demolition of the structures affecting the widening work.'

The BMC's team of L ward, consisting of 15 engineers, 100 workers, and 50 police personnel, was deployed for the demolition drive. The BMC will be demolishing another 180 structures if they get a green signal from the court in a hearing on Friday. "Other than court matters and resistance from encroachers, the widening work of the Mithi River has been delayed due to voting bank politics that prevented slum rehabilitation," said civic sources.

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