Mumbai: Kamgar Nagar Residents In Kurla Fear Man-Made Flooding Amid 'Forced' Road Elevation By BMC

Mumbai: Kamgar Nagar Residents In Kurla Fear Man-Made Flooding Amid 'Forced' Road Elevation By BMC

Residents of Kamgar Nagar Cooperative Housing Society (CHS) in Kurla East are up in arms against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) L Ward for forcibly elevating the height of Nandikeshvar Mandir road in their neighborhood, an action they claim could lead to severe flooding and drainage issues.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Thursday, June 13, 2024, 10:08 PM IST
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Mumbai: Kamgar Nagar Residents In Kurla Fear Man-Made Flooding Amid 'Forced' Road Elevation By BMC |

Mumbai: Residents of Kamgar Nagar Cooperative Housing Society (CHS) in Kurla East are up in arms against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) L Ward for forcibly elevating the height of Nandikeshvar Mandir road in their neighborhood, an action they claim could lead to severe flooding and drainage issues. The sudden construction has left the community worried about the potential for man-made flooding. The residents have also alleged that the police detained them while they were protesting against the road construction.

The controversy erupted when BMC officials, supported by Nehru Nagar Police Station, began the construction of an elevated cement concrete road in the low-lying area. The residents allege that the project commenced without prior intimation and ignored ongoing correspondence regarding the risks posed by the elevated road. Residents alleged they were detained by Police and were forced to sit in a Police van while they tried to protest against the road's concretization.

Vaishali Manjrekar, Secretary of Kamgar Nagar CHS said, "The BMC's decision to elevate the road height without prior consultation or adequate notice is woefully irresponsible. We are deeply alarmed about the heightened risk of waterlogging and drainage problems that this will precipitate, particularly during heavy rainfall. Given this region's propensity for flooding, we are now confronted with the very real possibility of our society becoming a makeshift lake during heavy rainfall, with water overflowing into our homes and daily lives."

"We filed an RTI in January 2024 requesting information about this work, but haven't received a response. We've requested specifications, road and storm drain levels, and drawings. The work order has also been withheld from us. Moreover, factories in Thakkar Bappa colony dump their garbage on our premises, and our society is used as a dumping ground. The slum already has a separate main road, Premanand Kambli Marg. We're skeptical about the quality of the work, as they installed a cracked PVC pipe in front of us. This is a clear case of hiding information and misusing taxpayers' money," added Manjrekar.

Siddharth Karande, another committee official said, "This is the same road where Chief Minister Eknath Shinde visited before the general elections for a flagship 'deep clean-up' drive. Now, our homes are at risk of man-made floods due to the BMC's inconsiderate actions. We fear facing a situation similar to the devastating floods of July 26, 2005."

The residents of Kamgar Nagar CHS voiced their concerns, questioning the necessity and execution of the road project. Milind Chavan said, "On whose behest did the BMC officials and Nehru Nagar Police act beyond their call of duty? This is something to ponder." Another resident Kishore Gidde said, "Many other civic issues concerning the common man go unnoticed, yet this project started without warning. It's dismaying to see BMC L-Ward officials not respecting the interventions of our elected representatives, including our MLA and Ex Corporator."

According to the society officials, the construction has been a blitzkrieg operation, executed with brute force and complete disregard for the residents' concerns. On-site BMC authorities and Nehru Nagar Police allegedly dismissed all formal correspondence and detained committee officials who were exercising their constitutional rights to protest.

The committee has demanded a written assurance from the BMC that, in the event of flooding caused by the elevated road, the society will be compensated for any damages. The new road height, they claim, exceeds that of the residential houses, posing a significant flood risk.

Swati Bane, resident of Kamgar Nagar CHS said, "We are deeply concerned that the BMC's hasty concretization and elevation of this road will put the nearby houses at significant risk of severe flooding and drainage issues. Therefore, we respectfully request that the BMC provide our society with a written guarantee that in the event of flooding caused by this elevated road, they will compensate us for any damages incurred. This is because the new road height exceeds that of the residential houses, which increases the likelihood of flooding."

Mukund Taralkar said, "We urge the authorities and local elected representatives to promptly address this pressing matter. We believe that it is essential to prioritize the safety and well-being of our community by halting the project and reconsidering its impact on our neighborhood."

In response to allegations of residents detaining, Senior Police Inspector of Nehru Nagar Police Station Yusuf Saudagar said, "The BMC was undertaking a road construction project, as authorized by an official work order, when the residents of the surrounding area began to obstruct the government's work. The residents claimed that the road construction would exacerbate flooding concerns and attempted to halt the project. BMC officials requested our assistance to manage the situation. We escorted the residents to a van, we did not take any kind of legal action. Notwithstanding the residents' concerns, we are confident that the road will not cause any issues and will actually provide significant benefits to the residents of Thakkar Bappa slum, facilitating their daily commute."

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