Mumbai: BMC raises objection to Somaiya Nalla project

Somaiya Nalla is one of the major nullahs of Mumbai and is situated near Vidyavihar; construction is underway to cover it with concrete slabs, which may eventually lead to flooding

On Friday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) raised objection to the ongoing construction work to cover the Somaiya Nalla near Vidyavihar on Shahid Bhagat Kanwar Ram Marg and has asked the builder in charge of the project to make some necessary ammendments. This will make the process of cleaning the nullah easier.

The nullah that falls in between Dhawalgiri Society and Nilkanth Vihar Society is 40 feet in width and 300 feet long and was being covered with cement slabs. Now, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) party workers have raised objection to the same. The party vice-president of Ghatko-par area, Sanjay Kolte, said, "The nullah is a major one, and has to be cleaned regularly with the help of a machine. If you cover the entire nullah with cement slabs, it can’t be cleaned at all and this will lead to flooding, especially during the monsoon." He also pointed out that in some places even iron frames are being used making the cleaning process almost impossible. "I don’t understand how the permission to carry out the work was ever granted," said Kolte. Later, when the BMC officers visited the site, they too agreed to Kolte. In 1992 the nullah was covered, but it collapsed during the 2005 floods. In 2010, BMC had granted permission to reconstruct the covering. The project is being carried out by Nilkanth Builders.

Executive engineer, planning department of storm water drainage, BMC, Sambhaji Ghag, said, "These permissions were granted at the additional commissioner level. However, there were provisions in the plan so that the nullah can be cleaned easily. It stated that on three places there should be openings of about 9 by 2 metres and a movable steel frame should be fitted on it. A silt pit of 5.6 metre by 12.50 metres should also be fitted to collect the muck, which would make cleaning work easy. We have asked the builder to make these necessary changes."

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