Mumbai: Anti-erosion rocks clogging Mahim beach

May 08, 2018, 15:29 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

As high tide dumps boulders on the beach, clean-up drive takes a massive hit

BMC's excavators struggle to manoeuvre around the boulders during the clean-up drive
BMC's excavators struggle to manoeuvre around the boulders during the clean-up drive

Cleaning Mumbai's filthy beaches is hard enough, but now Mahim residents and volunteers also face an obstacle course formed by large boulders that keep washing ashore from the coast. The boulders were dumped near the coastline by the Public Works Department (PWD) to prevent soil erosion. But many rocks are yet to be installed after the PWD's machinery stopped working a month ago.

Anwar Khan, a Mahim resident who has been actively involved in the beach clean-up, said, "Mahim beach is facing a problem of soil erosion, so the PWD started installing stones along the coastline to prevent this. But for the past month, the work has come to a halt, as their equipment developed a mechanical issue. Due to the tidal current, the stones that were to be installed have washed onto the beach, which becomes an obstacle during the beach clean-up activity."

Clean-up volunteers are fed up of navigating through the maze of boulders at Mahim beach
Clean-up volunteers are fed up of navigating through the maze of boulders at Mahim beach

The locals join forces with the BMC on a regular basis to clear the litter from the beach. However, even the civic body's JCB machine has trouble manoeuvering around the large boulders during the clean-up drives. Mahim residents said that the stones have also proved to be hurdles for morning and evening walkers, particularly senior citizens.

"With the monsoon just a month away, the PWD should finish the work soon, or else it will lead to more problems. I have already discussed the issue with the concerned PWD officials, and they have assured me that they will complete the work at the earliest," added Khan. The local residents are also of the opinion that mega tetrapods - like the kind used at Marine Drive - may be a better way to deal with erosion.

PWD officials say
Rajeev Bobade, deputy engineer at PWD, said, "We know that people involved in the beach clean-up activity, as well as morning and evening walkers, face inconvenience because of the rocks. There was a delay in installing the rocks because the Pokland machine we were using had developed a mechanical issue. In a day or two, the machine will be ready, and we will move all the boulders."

Another PWD official said that last year, they had sent a proposal worth Rs 15 crore to lay concrete tetrapods on the beach between Mahim and Dadar, but the project was a non-starter because of a lack of funds.

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