Metro III will result in nearly 5,000 trees being cut, increasing the risk of flooding. File Pic
Metro III is the gift that keeps on giving - not only will it result in close to 5,000 trees being axed, but it will also create more than two dozen flood-prone locations wherever workers are digging the underground stations. Meanwhile, BMC officials are upset that their efforts to control flooding are going down the drain, as Metro workers have choked drainage lines.
According to BMC officials, the Metro III construction work has not only damaged existing drainage lines built by the civic body, but the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has not even made alternative arrangements to drain out the rainwater that is bound to collect at the locations that have been dug up along the 33.2-km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz corridor.
Work is on in full swing at nearly all the 27 locations selected to build underground stations, and several spots - Churchgate, Fort, Worli, Prabhadevi and Bandra - and roads and footpaths have been barricaded and dug up.
As many as 27 spots have been dug up to build Metro III’s underground stations, without any preparation to drain rainwater from there. File Pic
BMC not impressed
The BMC on Monday wrote to the MMRC, seeking an undertaking that it will make arrangements to drain the rainwater as soon as possible. It also wants reassurance that if any flooding occurs at these locations, the MMRC will be to blame, not the BMC.
This comes when the BMC is racing against time to prepare for the monsoon, building and repairing drains to prevent waterlogging. The corporation has so far identified 66 locations across the city that are prone to flooding, and it looks like the MMRC is all set to add 27 more to the list.
Sanjay Darade, chief engineer of BMC's roads department, told mid-day, "We have asked the MMRC to ensure that there are proper facilities to drain the rainwater into the nearest drainage lines."
Same old story
This is not the first time that Metro work has damaged BMC's work. During the work of Metro I (Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar), MMRC had damaged roads as well as the drainage system. A civic official said, "The BMC had spent over R65 crore to construct a new drainage line on the Andheri-Kurla Road that was then blocked by the Metro pillars."
Meanwhile, work on Metro IIA has led to another problem in the western suburbs, where footpaths and side strips of roads have been damaged. Once again, the BMC - and, ultimately, the taxpayer - will have to bear the cost of repairs.
27 No. of stations being dug up that will be flood-prone
66 No. of existing flood-prone locations in the city
"We haven't received any such letter so far. We will take immediate remedial measures if any specific instances are brought to our notice by the authorities," said a spokesperson for MMRC.
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