Mumbai News: Around 700 Illegal Structures To Be Demolished For Mithi River Widening Project

Mumbai News: Around 700 Illegal Structures To Be Demolished For Mithi River Widening Project

The BMC has now conducted a survey to identify the structures eligible for compensation

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Monday, January 08, 2024, 08:46 PM IST
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Mithi river | File photo

Mumbai : Around 700 structures on a 900-meter stretch between Kalina Bridge to CST Bridge have been a hurdle in the Mithi river widening and deepening project for nearly a decade. The BMC has now conducted a survey to identify the structures eligible for compensation. Accordingly, the illegal structures are planned to be demolished by the first week of February. However, it will be a challenging task to vacate the stay of some of the structures, fears civic officials.  

Encroachments along the bank of the river

The Mithi river has been widened at several spots along its 17.8-km stretch from Powai to Mahim Bay over the past decade. The river that flows past Kranti Nagar narrows to 60 metres 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 metres to 220 metres as it approaches Mahim Bay. But, its widening and deepening has stuck at several places because of encroachments that have crept up along the bank of the river. The BMC's notices to such warehouses were challenged by the owners in court, which stalled the widening work. 

BMC demolished 56 illegal structures

On November 30, last year, the BMC took the first action by demolishing 56 illegal structures in Kismat Nagar in Kurla (West) and vacating one acre of land. The BMC is now planning a second action within a month. "All the structures in this stretch will be scrutinized to identify legal structures that will be eligible for monetary or alternate accommodation. Accordingly, notices will be sent in the next eight days. Since some of them have challenged the BMC's action in court, the remaining structures will be planned to be demolished by next month," said a senior civic official. The action will be taken by officials of L ward. 

"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. The river originates at Vihar Lake, passes through areas namely Powai, Saki Naka, Kurla, Kalina, Vakola and BKC and culminates at Mahim creek. The Mithi river was flooded during heavy rain on July 26, 2005. The BMC and Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) have undertaken deepening and widening of the river that was filled with silt, garbage and sewerage.

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