Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had claimed that chronic flooding spots such as Hindmata in Parel, Gandhi Market in Sion and Chembur Circle would not go under this monsoon.
However, remedial measures taken by the civic body, such as building underground holding tanks at chronic flood-prone areas in the monsoon - Hindmata, Parel, and Milan Subway, Santacruz – have done little to check flooding in the city; in fact, the number of waterlogged areas has increased.
The steady downpour since June 29 once again resulted in flooding at the usual spots, thereby raising questions over the efficacy of the civic measures. The Congress and BJP have demanded an explanation from the BMC administration on the issue.
The BMC has identified 386 flooding spots across the city and various works have been completed to tackle 312 of these. Work on eight other spots is in the planning stage, while 33 spots will be tackled by next monsoon.
The remaining 33 spots are in government or private properties. Around 487 pumps have been installed at routinely waterlogged areas in the 24 administrative wards of the city.
Tanks have been built to hold the excess rainwater from Hindmata, to be pumped out into nullahs after the rains stop. A pumping station has been constructed in the space below the Hindmata flyover, to push the water to both the tanks through a pipeline.
In two phases, the BMC planned to store six crore litres of water in the tank at Dadar, and four crore litres in Parel.
Expansion work at the St Xavier’s ground has been completed while that on another tank (Phase 2) at the Pramod Mahajan Kala Park in Dadar west, will be completed by next monsoon.
The cost of this project has now touched Rs 190 crore. A similar tank at Milan Subway is under construction and is expected to be ready by October 2022.
However, the tank is still capable of holding water for a few hours, claims the BMC. The cost of the project is around Rs 33 crore. The BMC has constructed a mini pumping station at Gandhi Market near Matunga, which can pump out 2.33 lakh litres of floodwater per minute.
The former opposition leader of the BMC, Ravi Raja, said, “Despite spending crores of rupees on water holding tanks, we saw waterlogging in Milan Subway and Hindmata in just the first shower. The BMC is answerable to the taxpayers. Congress delegations will soon meet and question Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal on this matter."
BJP leader Vinod Mishra said, “More than Rs 100 crore have been spent on the project. Yet, there is flooding in these areas at the very first shower. We need an explanation from the BMC. I will be writing to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to look into the matter.”
“Even if the area was slightly waterlogged, water has receded faster than before,” claimed a civic official.
Local resident R Sridhar said, “The Gandhi Market area is like a saucer. The BMC has tried so many measures until now, but none have worked. Yesterday (Saturday) also, there was waterlogging. However, the BMC is doing its best and trying hard to resolve the issue.”
Additional Municipal Commissioner P. Velarasu was not available for comment.