Mumbai Rains: Nullah wall collapses at Kalanagar, puts citizens at risk

Jul 06, 2018, 18:30 IST | Chetna Yerunkar and Suyash Karangutkar

The latest in the series of collapses in the city is the cave-in of Kalanagar nullah boundary wall, making the area that is prone to waterlogging even more dangerous for residents and pedestrians

Mumbai Rains: Nullah wall collapses at Kalanagar, puts citizens at risk
The Kalanagar nullah poses a greater risk to motorists and pedestrians after the collapse of its boundary wall. Pic/Nimesh Dave

After landslides, road cave-ins and a bridge collapse, here's further evidence that the city seems to be falling apart at the seams — a boundary wall of a nullah in Bandra East has caved in. And while this poses a serious threat to passers-by as well as residents, authorities seem chilled out. The Kalanagar nullah comes under the Public Works Department (PWD), which, last year, handed over the highway to the MMRDA. Hence, everything along it, including the nullah, is supposed to be maintained by the Authority.

A closed drain, the PWD had opened up the nullah last year for repairs and desilting; whether or not the work is finished is anybody's guess, and the nullah has been left open. And despite numerous complaints by citizens, about mosquitoes and the threat of diseases, nothing has been done about it. Civic officials, too, said they have been receiving complaints and would forward them to the PWD and MMRDA to take immediate corrective measures.

Locals up in arms
"The drain has been lying open for a long time. During monsoon, it becomes even dangerous. I have been raising my voice against this, and even wrote a letter to the PWD and an email to the CM, but nothing has been done. A team from PWD had visited, and I had told them this could turn into another Wadala," said Nilesh Chavan, a local and Shiv Sena leader.

Another resident whose building faces the caved-in portion, Sadanand Bhogle, said, "The drain being open, mosquitoes have made it their home. It compromises the hygiene of the area and poses a risk to the health of residents. Cleaning it is a necessity." "It is dangerous for those [staying] on both sides of the road. While those passing by on the highway can fall into it, even those walking can slip inside. The least authorities could do is urgently cover it with a stronger roof," said, Tapan Kamath, 21, a local.

Officialspeak
BMC officials said there had been no cooperation from other agencies on this issue, and hence, they had to warn engineers working there to take care of the nullah, as Bandra East is prone to waterlogging. "We will be writing to the PWD and MMRDA to resolve the problem at the earliest, so that there is no inconvenience to citizens," said Alka Sasane from H-east ward. When mid-day called Dilip Kawathkar, spokesperson for the MMRDA, he said, "I will get back [to you] after taking appropriate details from concerned officials." However, till the time of going to press, there was no response.

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