Mumbai: Metro work to blame for Sunday's flooding, says BMC

Updated: Aug 10, 2019, 08:21 IST | Prajakta Kasale

BMC sends letter to MMRDA and MMRCL blaming them for blocking arterial drain between Kalanagar and Milan subway with debris from Metro 3 and SCLR extension

Mumbai: Metro work to blame for Sunday's flooding, says BMC
The drain between Kalanagar in Bandra East and Milan subway in Santacruz choked by debris

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is always at the receiving end of public rage when the city goes under, has dashed off a letter to MMRDA and MMRCL blaming them squarely for Sunday's unusual flooding in the western suburbs. The letter, sent on August 8, states that the debris from work on Metro 3 and extension of the Santacruz Chembur Link Road choked an arterial drain between Kalanagar and Milan Subway, Santacruz, leading to the flooding.

The 3.5km drain is one of the key water outlets along teh western suburbs. The letter has been sent in the backdrop of the death of a woman and her son from electrocution at their residence 400 metres from the site. On Sunday, when Mithi river flowed over its danger mark, many areas in Bandra and Santacruz were waterlogged. There was unusual waterlogging near Raje Sambhaji Vidyalay in Golibar Nagar. Mala Nagam, 50, was opening the door to her house when she got a shock from the iron safety door that had touched a broken electric wire. Her son, Sanket, 22, who tried to save her, was also electrocuted. Though the incident wasn't directly connected to the waterlogging in the area, the BMC faced the wrath of the public.

Also Read: TMC to start real-time mapping to tackle waterlogging areas

MUMBAI WEATHER

The area around the Vakola flyover in Santacruz East was completely waterlogged on Sunday. Pics/Nimesh Dave
The area around the Vakola flyover in Santacruz East was completely waterlogged on Sunday. Pics/Nimesh Dave

As per the letter, both authorities have undertaken construction work and the debris from the work has ended up in the drain that runs parallel to the Western Express Highway. "We had sent a letter to MMRCL in May to clear up the site and take safety measures. But, the drain is never cleared and the area becomes waterlogged during every spell of heavy rain," said a BMC officer.

This is not the first time, back in June 2017, the BMC had written a letter warning that the Metro 3 work had choked the drains in Bandra, which had resulted in the unprecedented flooding in Bandra and BKC, which traditionally do not see waterlogging. There is 3.5-km-long drain that starts near Milan subway and runs along the Western Express Highway up to Kalanagar in Bandra and empties into the Mithi river. The debris from work on the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-III line in the Khar-Santacruz area near the WEH and MMRDA's work on the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) goes straight into the drain.

Also Read: Mumbai rains: Continuous showers hit normal life in Andheri, Malad and suburbs

Debris from ongoing Metro 3 work falls into drain along the road at Kalanagar, Bandra East
Debris from ongoing Metro 3 work falls into drain along the road at Kalanagar, Bandra East

"Many times, water from the dug-up area is released onto the roads, which escalate the issue of waterlogging," said an officer from the BMC. The civic body said it had even asked MMRCL to drain the water from the dug-up area into the Vakola nullah instead of the already choked up drain. MMRCL, however, denies all responsibility for the flooding on Sunday. "There was no drain choking along the Western Express Highway due to Metro 3 work. The overflowing Vakola river on the east side of the highway was the primary reason for the water logging," an MMRCL spokesperson said.

3.5km
Length of the drain that runs from Kalanagar to Vakola

Also Read: Mumbai Rains: IMD gets it right, but city doesn't

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