BMC 'recycles' silt to unclog drains

Jun 15, 2014, 08:26 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

The recycling machines, acquired at a huge cost, have been sent to every ward, to get rid of silt from nullahs

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has just acquired brand new Recycling Machines — apparently to get rid of the tonnes of silt that clog drains across the city every year, leading to water logging when the rains arrive.

Four recycling machines arrived in the city last week
Four recycling machines arrived in the city last week

The four machines, each costing R5 crore, have been sent to almost all BMC wards in the city by turn. The machines have the ability to store large quantities of stilt in its pouch, which is then taken to the dumping yards.

Mumbai has over 2000 kilometres of roadside nullahs from where silt needs to be removed.

According to its own records, the BMC spends an average of R90 crore annually, in cleaning nullahs to prevent flooding. The new machines  were used for the first time last week, before monsoon arrived.

When contacted, Chief Engineer of the Storm Water Drains department, LS Vhatkar, said, “We now have these machines which will help us get the drains cleaned. The silt is directly stored in the huge machines and hence citizens will no longer have to face the problem of silt and muck being dumped on the roadside. There are plans to acquire more such machines”

On the tidal trail
Despite the huge expenditure and the hype around the new recycling machines, the city continued to face flooding yesterday, even before heavy rains arrived.

On Saturday, as huge tidal waves lashed the Mumbai coast, many streets around Marine Drive and Dadar were clogged. Traffic snarls were reported at Veer Savarkar Marg in Dadar soon after the high-tide at around 1.30 pm. With the sewers clogged, the BMC deployed 50 personnel to remove the water and muck from the streets.

Assistant head supervisor  S Chavan said, “We deployed 50 men with proper equipments to tackle the situation. The water will be removed within two hours.” On Sunday, the high tide is expected around 2 pm.

Inputs by Abhishek Dandekar

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