Mumbai Rains: All it took was one hour of heavy showers to wash away BMC's promise

Jun 06, 2018, 07:01 IST | Laxman Singh

Citizens wipe out civic body's claims of being monsoon-ready and upload pictures of the state of Mumbai's roads after just one proper shower across the city

There was ankle-deep water on the streets of Juhu and Vile Parle
There was ankle-deep water on the streets of Juhu and Vile Parle

Just one hour of rain in Mumbai was enough to wash away BMC's claims of being prepared for the monsoon. On Monday, between 8 pm and 9 pm, the city received about 45 mm of rainfall — enough to inundate several areas across Mumbai. Upset citizens took to social media to criticise the shoddy job done by the civic body, and posted pictures of submerged roads and overflowing drains.

The hour-long shower swiftly turned roads into streams at Hindmata, Wadala, Dharavi, JJ Flyover and Gandhi Market in Sion. In the eastern suburbs, Kurla, Chembur and Govandi got waterlogged pretty quickly, while in the west, Irla, Juhu, Malad and Santacruz were in ankle-deep water. These areas that are notorious for waterlogging year after year, and the BMC had given assurances that they had taken every measure to prevent any trouble this year.

Even the drains in Kurla were seen overflowing after the downpour in the evening
Even the drains in Kurla were seen overflowing after the downpour in the evening

'Same old story'
And yet, just 45 mm of rainfall in an hour was enough to put these locations under water. To put things in perspective, this is just one-seventh of the rainfall received on August 29 last year (315.8 mm in 12 hours), when the city had shut down after massive waterlogging.

Juhu resident and activist Jaynish Shah posted several photos of inches-deep water on the streets of Irla and Juhu. "After the rains, Irla, Cooper Hospital and JVPD were waterlogged. When can we expect some good work from the BMC? Every year, it's the same old story," said Shah.

Another activist from Kurla, Jitendra Gupta, also raised questions over the civic body's preparations. "After the shower, the drains at Bharat Talkies in Kurla West were overflowing. This shows what kind of desilting work was really done by the BMC," said Gupta.

The contractor left heaps of silt on the roadside and it washed back into the drains
The contractor left heaps of silt on the roadside and it washed back into the drains

'Sue the contractors'
It's not just the common man complaining about the poor monsoon preparations. Aneesh Makwaaney, BJP corporator from Juhu, alleged that the desilting contractor in Juhu had done a shoddy job. "At many locations, silt removed from the drains was kept on the roadside. The rains have started, but it was not cleaned. On Monday, the silt washed away into the same drains again. Few locations like S V Road, Sarojini Road, Church Road, Bajaj Road and Lajpat Road are still filled with huge heaps of silt," he said.

Juhu corporator Aneesh Makwaaney has written to the bMC to complain about shoddy desilting work
Juhu corporator Aneesh Makwaaney has written to the bMC to complain about shoddy desilting work

Makwaaney has written to BMC's K-West ward, seeking action against the contractor. He said, "I asked for strict action against the desilting contractor of K-West ward no 71. A damages suit should be filed against him, and crores should be claimed, to set an example for other contractors who take the BMC and public money for granted."

Chief engineer of Storm Water Drain (SWD) department, V H Khandkar was not available for comment. A senior official from the department said, "Waterlogging on Monday was due to heavy rainfall in a very short span of time. Also, it was the season's first rain, and the drains were obstructed by tiny blockages. It will be better next time."

Also read: Mumbai Rains: Tuesday morning rush-hour traffic hit by overnight downpour, water-logging

Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates

Mumbai rains: City on high alert as heavy downpour expected