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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fewer flooding spots in Mumbai by next monsoon, says civic body

Mumbai: The BMC claims to have plugged gapsin nineof the67 major flooding spotsin Mumbai. The civic body further claimed that with two more pumping stations at Love Grove and Cleaveland to be commissioned by next May, nine more spots will have noflooding next monsoon. 

    Further,24spotswillhave noflooding by 2013 after the Britannia, Guzder Bund, Mogra and Mahul pumping stations are commissioned by May 2013. The Guzder Bund and Britannia pumping stations are awaiting clearancefrom the ministry of environment andforests.Tenderswillsoon befloatedtocompletetheworkwithin 2013. 
    However,corporatorshaveslammedthe delay in completing the Brihanmumbai Storm Water Disposal (Brimstowad) project. The ambitious project is likely to be completedby 2013. 
    The project work includes rehabilitation and augmentation of underground drains, construction of new drains, training of nullahs, widening and deepening of nullahs and construction of storm water pumping stations. The project has been dividedintotwo phases and, according to municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar, 14 of 
the 58 works under the project have been completedsofar,whileworkiscurrently on in 34."Astheworkbegan under this project, wehave managedtoincreasethecapacity of drains. Wehavewidened,deepened,trained and extended nullahs and outfalls, including floodgates," said municipal commissioner SubodhKumar. 
    A retired official from the stormwater drainage department said, "Rehabilitation of structures does take time as it involves 
demolition, too. Hence, one cannot expect workto getcompletedovernight." 
    The plan to augmentthestormwater disposal system began in 2007. The need for such a project was felt after the 2005 deluge. The drains in the city have the capacity to handle 25 mm of rainfall per hour and 200 mm in 24 hours. This was found to be below the markin comparison tothe rainfallintensity, so a proposal was mooted to widen and reconstruct nullahstotackleheavy rain. 

Times View 
t is time that the BMC takes public money and time seriously. Many of the projects it has worked on in the recent past, be it on roads or storm-water drainage, have been delayed because of frivolous reasons. The delay in starting work on 160 new roads, ostensibly because corporators wish to do the inauguration, is a case in point. Besides the delay, this also leads to cost escalation. The BMC promise on prevention of flooding also looks like going the same way; the BMC must back its promises with honest intent and solid work on the ground.

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