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Monday, July 9, 2012

Juhu residents complain of civic apathy

Mumbai: Over 400 families living along Juhu Tara road detest the monsoon. Each year, their society gets flooded during the season and they have to wade through sewage to reach their doorsteps. 

    Residents of New Bomaby CHS, Rohit Apartments and Rising Sun Society, and students and teachers of Dilkhush Special School say the civic body has been ignoring their requests for an additional drainage line. But the BMC says it is helpless because of a jurisdiction problem. 
    The residents say that the monsoon only brings misery upon them. "It spells disaster for us. Not a single year has gone without our society getting flooded. Every time it rains heavily, we begin to panic," said Harbajan Kaur Jolly, a senior citizen who resides in North Bombay Co-op Housing Society. 
    Many old housing societies that are across 
the road from J W Marriott get flooded each monsoon, as they are low-lying. Behind them lies the Juhu Aerodrome, into which they are not allowed to drain rainwater. While buildings along the beach are at road level and have a drainage line, the older buildings lack a proper drainage system. 
    To make matters worse, most of the build
ings, which came up between 1965 and 1970, use septic tanks instead of sewer lines. Charles Ferreira, a resident, explained that the water table in Juhu is very high as it is near the sea. Thus, the septic tanks could not be installed below a depth of 30 feet. "When water accumulates in our society, it mixes with sewage. So, it's not just rain water we have to wade through, but also vile smelling sewage. This is not only unhygienic, but also a health hazard." 
    The BMC is aware of the problem, but claims that it is powerless. An official in the K-west ward office told TOI, "The complexes on the eastern side of Juhu Tara Road all slope towards the east, away from the sea. It would be ideal to have a drainage line behind these buildings, to drain out the water that accumulates in those societies. But the land behind the buildings is owned by the state government, and we no not have the authority to build any drainage system there."


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