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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flood-prone Hindmata, Mithi on civic radar

Mumbai: It's an annual monsoon story, flood-prone areas near the airport and Hindmata get inundated with mild rain. 
    To avoid this, the width of Mithi river, running belowthe runway,hasbeen increased by 24 metres and deepened by 8 metres. Civic officialssayitisboundto reduce flooding in the nearby areas this monsoon. 
    Similarly, civic officials claimed to have also tackled another chronic spot—Hindmata junction at Dadar. TheBMCclaimsthatthedesilting and repairing of the century-old storm water drains in the area is almost over. "We have visited the airport area, where the width of Mithi river has been increased," said L S Vhatkar, chief engineer (storm water drains). 
    As far as the 'saucershaper' Hindmata junction is concerned, civic officials said the underground drains, built in brick masonry nearly a century ago, had never been completely desilted till date. 
    "They have now been cleared of all the sediments and the flow of rainwater will now be quicker," said a senior civic official. 
    According to the BMC, nearly 66% of the desilting work has been completed so far. Of the total 3,40,259 metres, around 2,25,528 metres (in length) has been desilted. BMC officials claim that the remaining work will be completed by May 31. While79% of thedesilting work has been completed in the western suburbs, 62% has been completed in the eastern suburbs. The island city is lagging behind with only 56% of the desilting work completedsofar.BMCchief Sitaram Kunte took stock of the progress madein nullah cleaning in thewesternsuburbs on Tuesday. 
Locals pour cold water on BMC claims 
Mumbai: Despite the BMC's effort to get the city ready for the monsoon, residents are sceptical that the role played by other agencies like the railways and the MMRDA. 
    "Every year, the BMC gives the same excuse and blames the MMRDA or the railways," Khar-based activist Aftab Siddiqui said. "Can't they plan the work in advance and ensure that it is completed on time. They are already a month behind schedule, and I have not seen any report on how much work has been done," she added. AGNI coordinator Nikhil Desai said, "Certain culverts that are built on the land belonging to the railways need to be cleaned in time. The mayor and BMC chief must bring pressure on the railway authorities." Political parties have also started taking stock of the situation. —Shawan Sen & Johan Fleury


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