Permission was not being given as all the mangroves, spread over 12,000 sq m near Mahul creek, would be affected; BMC changes alignment of proposed station so only 12% of them will have to be replanted
The state government has finally given an NOC to the Mahul pumping station, one of eight pumping stations to be constructed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Letters have been written to the Forest Department for the transfer and replantation of the mangroves. Pic for representation
The NOC was not being given as all the mangroves spread over 12,000 sq m near the Mahul creek would be affected by it. But, after the BMC changed the alignment of the proposed pumping station, only about 12 per cent of the mangroves will have to be replanted.
However, the pumping station is far from construction, as the approval of the state government is not the only issue in the matter. Various permissions have to be sought from other agencies. For starters, the land near Mahul creek belongs to the Salt Commissioner, who has to give it up for construction.
Letters have also been written to the Forest Department for the transfer and replantation of the mangroves. The BMC is also in the process of writing to the HC, asking for its permission to replant the mangroves. The Mahul pumping station will help dewater (pump out water from) flooded areas such as Kurla, Nehru Nagar, Wadala and also parts of Antop Hill.
Laxman Vhatkar, chief engineer, storm water drains department, said, “The state had asked us to look for an alternate place, and we figured out a place where comparatively fewer mangroves would be disturbed.; it is close to the creek.
We have also written to the Forest Department about this, and need the approval of the Salt Commissioner, and he has to hand over the land for the pumping station.”
Sites at Haji Ali, Lovegrove, Cleveland Bunder, Britannia outfall, Gazdharbandh, Irla nullah, Mahul creek and Mogra nullah were finalised by the BMC to build pumping stations. All have received NOCs, except for Mogra nullah.
Pumping stations will help dewater nullahs, when high tides coincide with heavy rainfall. During high tide, all flood gates need to be closed as a precaution, so that water will not flow into the nullah and drains and causing a flood.