Mumbai: BMC officers to visit Japan for lessons in flood control

Updated: Nov 16, 2019, 07:48 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

Four civic officials leave city in November to study Tokyo's engineering marvel to tackle flooding around Mithi river.

This year, the areas surrounding Mithi had flooded badly owing to  rise in the river's water level. File pic
This year, the areas surrounding Mithi had flooded badly owing to rise in the river's water level. File pic

In an effort to prevent flooding in areas around Mithi river in the future, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has set up a team to study Japan’s intricate flood control system. Four civic officials, including an additional municipal commissioner, will visit Tokyo later this month.

In September, a team of officers and technical experts from Japan visited Mumbai to understand why the city gets flooded almost every monsoon. They explained to city officials how Tokyo defends the nation against flooding. They then visited Powai, Vihar and Tulasi lakes, and Mithi river and submitted a report to the civic body.

Japan has huge underground tunnels that collect rain water, which is then diverted to the sea during low tide.

In Mumbai, in case of a high tide, the water gates are kept shut as sea water enters the city. The city has pumping stations to release the water but their capacity is not enough.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Vijay Singhal along with the head of storm water drainage department and two executive engineers will spend a week in Japan, starting November 24, to understand the intricacies of Japan’s engineering marvel.

An officer told mid-day, the flooding around Mithi has become an alarming issue over the past few years. Widening and deepening work in 11 km of the 17.84-km-long river is complete, he added. The rest of the area is a tidal fluctuation zone where the river enters into the sea through Mahim creek.

The BMC expects to return from Japan with a solution to reduce the level of water in Mithi at the time of heavy rain and high tide. Overflowing Mithi created a flood-like situation in western suburbs.

As of now the BMC is planning to implement the flood management system to only a few parts of the city, like Parel-Hindmata area that gets flooded every year, a senior civic officer said.

Feasibility of underground holding tanks, natural gradient and topography will also be taken into consideration while applying the system for the city.

18KM
Approx length of Mithi river

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