The financial capital of India was hit by monsoon woes on Monday with the first day of heavy rainfall. Traffic jams for hours, waterlogging on arterial streets brought life to a standstill in Mumbai. However, the city’s municipality has said that the situation will get better from next month as two major works at Hindamata Chowk and Gandhi market are expected to be completed within a fortnight.
“Based on international experience, we are implementing some innovative ideas. We are building water storage tanks in which water will be pumped through motors. Due to the cyclone, this work has got delayed by 15 days, but it will be completed by June end. By then, you will not see water on the side roads as well,” P Velrasu, Additional Municipal Commissioner, BMC, told CNN-News18.
A major tunnelling work is in progress at Gandhi market, which is the worst-affected area along with King’s circle in Mumbai for years. Waterlogging at Gandhi market, Sion lead to traffic jams for kilometres on the Ambedkar road. Apart from that, it also has a spiralling effect on the serving roads and connecting areas.
The BMC started work on the underground tanks this year. On a pilot basis, five underground water holding tanks are being constructed – two at Hindamata (one under the Hindamata flyover and another under the north-bound carriageway of Ambedkar road).
Pramod Mahajan Udyan on Senapati Bapat marg near Elphinstone station, St Xavier’s ground in Parel, Gandhi market under the south-bound carriageway on Ambedkar road are among the other areas.
The project has been designed by Storm Water Drain department of BMC with local consultant.
“There is a technical problem at Gandhi market. Otherwise, the work there would have been completed. It will take another seven to 10 days for the completion of the tunnelling work there,” Velrasu said. Even the underground tank work got delayed by a few days due to Cyclone Tauktae, he said, adding that the work schedule is back on track now.
He also claimed that the desilting work of all the four major rivers and nullahs had been completed. “We have doubled the desilting of Mithi river. Now, water flows quickly. Desilting quantities have increased. We started the work in March. We have desilted 45,000 metric tonnes from Mithi alone,” he said.
“The BMC has also cleared Rs 300 crore worth of small works for bottlenecks. As much as 80% of that work is complete now,” Velrasu added.
But through all this work, BMC’s intention is to reduce the water stagnation time. The city’s water will stagnate, which means water logging will continue to happen, but for lesser time progressively.
Meanwhile, the BJP has slammed the civic body for failure to avoid water logging in several parts of the city.