Mumbai's infrastructure not designed for any climate, rainfall change: BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi
Photo by BL SONI

While Mumbai was paralysed by incessant rainfall for three consecutive days, many parts of the financial capital remained waterlogged, prompting authorities to declare a holiday on Tuesday. But now the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has said that Mumbai’s infrastructure can’t handle change in rainfall pattern, climate change.

In an interview to the Hindustan Times, Pardeshi said, "I believe our infrastructure is not designed to take any climate change that way and we have to work on it now." Pardeshi defended saying that waterlogging stayed for a shorter period. He also told the leading daily that, "Waterlogging stayed for a much shorter period. Our efforts worked. Water did not stay on the streets." While talking about flooding at low-lying areas, civic body chief said, "Water does not stay in low-lying areas because it is being pumped out. Of course, we need to do much more, and that is the expectation. I agree that we cannot keep increasing the capacity of drains alone."

At 375.2 mm, the rainfall in the 24-hour period before 8.30 am Tuesday was the highest since the July 26, 2005, deluge in Mumbai. It had widely affected train and bus services while several flights had to be diverted from Mumbai airport and others were delayed for hours. As rains continued to lash the city, water logging was reported at Airport Colony, Vakola Junction, Postal colony, near Chunabhatti Railway station and Vakola road, a BMC official said told PTI.

While talking about BMC dealing with the change in the rain pattern in Mumbai, Pardeshi told the leading daily, "The earlier pattern of 90 to 100 rainy days in the monsoon has now come down to 25 to 30 days of heavy rain, but the amount of rainfall has not decreased. This is very bad because our infrastructure does not cater to such rapid run-off in such a small time." Speaking about nullahs, Pardeshi also told the Hindustan Times that, "Of the 53 nullahs to be upgraded, 25 nullahs were upgraded to 50mm and 12 are in progress, and four are yet to be opened. Some of them came up because the problems in the original spots were not addressed or were partially addressed, so there is a ballooning effect."

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