Mumbai: The BMC has appointed a technical committee to decide the fate of Malabar Hill reservoir but invited suggestions from citizens only on the issue of methodology for its reconstruction. This has upset the local residents, who have strongly objected to the public notice. Over 60 residents of Malabar Hill have sent a letter to civic chief Iqbal Singh Chahal demanding that the reconstruction plan be scrapped and repairs be undertaken using modern technology. Meanwhile, the BMC received 149 suggestions from the public till Friday.
Residents pointed out that as per the BMC’s water supply department’s November 3 notice, an expert panel was to decide if repairing of the reservoir is feasible without constructing an alternate one without affecting the water supply. However, the public notice released on December 1 completely omitted any reference to repairs.
“The past evidence shows that the BMC has made up its mind to reconstruct the reservoir, even though all evidence shows that repairs are possible. We strongly object to the claim that the structure is in a dangerous or dilapidated condition, or that it is leaking heavily,” residents said.
Modern technology for in-water, under-water repairs must be used
They said that there are five compartments in the reservoir, which can easily be repaired one at a time. There are interconnections between the compartments which can be sealed off to enable ease of repairs, they have written to the BMC. They have suggested that if isolating the compartments is not possible, modern technology for in-water and under-water repairs must be used.
As per the suggestions, if an additional storage facility is needed, temporarily or permanently, the reservoir’s plot next to the post office can be used. The green cover of the reservoir plot and adjoining plots must not be touched in any way. Whenever the next inspection is carried out, a complete drone survey must be carried out.
After verifying suggestions, technical committee to submit its report
The technical expert committee will verify all the suggestions and will submit its report, following which future course of action will be decided regarding the contentious project, civic sources said. The expert committee has already inspected compartments 2 A and 2 B, while compartment 1 will be checked on Monday.
Here's the list of suggestions by residents:
1) Reconstruction plan should be scrapped
2) Repairs should be undertaken using modern tech
3) 5 compartments can be repaired one at a time
4) Links between compartments can be sealed off to enable repairs
5) Use modern tech for underwater repairs
6) Additional storage possible on plot next to post office
7) Green cover on reservoir plot must not be touched
8) Complete drone survey must be carried out
9) All work on MHR must be done only after obtaining Heritage and CRZ approval as per law. No unauthorised work must be done by by-passing the laid down legal procedures.
10) Besides structural engineers, BMC must also involve Hydraulic Engineers (MEP Consultants), who can plan a more modern distribution and storage network for the decades to come.