mid-day impact: BMC swings into action following this paper's report, writes to MMRCL warning that its debris could clog nullah this monsoon
The BMC has now undertaken desilting work at the encroachment site. Pic/Rane Ashish
Following mid-day's report about illegal dumping of debris at a major road junction along the Mithi River bank, the civic body has sprung into action. Sources at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday confirmed that they have written to the Metro authorities regarding clearing the dumping at Dharavi T-junction on the Bandra-Sion Link Road. Desilting work is being undertaken by the BMC. Work here began after G North ward officer AG Khairnar read mid-day's report and asked Metro authorities to clear the site on a war-footing.
The mid-day had on Thursday reported about the encroachment near the mangroves where a parking lot has been created. The dumping has become a cause of worry for environmentalists with the shrinking mangrove cover. Even the width of nullah was reduced thus giving a reason for the civic body to worry about flooding and waterlogging, during monsoon. The reduced road width owing to the Metro construction seemed to have prompted encroachers to take the step.
Metro line III has been taking up space on the road driving encroachers to create the illegal space to park their vehicles close to the water body
Debris was dumped here by breaking the wall that separated the road and the nullah (which merges into the Mithi River later) that flows alongside. A number of private vehicles and auto rickshaws are parked here, dangerously close to the water body. This raised the chances of a mishap during the upcoming monsoon.
The debris has now been cleared and the desilting work is in process. Khairnar, who read the mid-day story, visited the spot with his staff and called upon Metro line III project manager to get the spot cleared. The two authorities also carried out a joint inspection at the spot. While the land belongs to the City Collector, there were chances of the encroachment affecting the settlements at Dharavi near 90 feet road since it carries the Storm Water Drain water to the Mithi River. This was the reason the BMC sprung into action, said officials.
During the site inspection, the BMC officials also asked the local police and traffic cops to get the vehicles removed from the spot. Barricading was done at the spot on Saturday and a letter was written to the MMRCL officials (accessed by mid-day), stating that debris was dumped in the major nullah narrowing the Mahim-Bandra Link road near T-junction. "This may become an obstacle in the flow of nullah resulting in flooding during the monsoon," it read. It also further instructed the MMRCL officials to clear it within two days (on or before Monday).
"On account of similarity found in the construction material used by Metro and that dumped in the nullah, we asked the officials to get it cleared, which they did on war-footing and now the desilting work is going on as the monsoon is soon arriving. The site is now completely cleared of any encroachment. This action will now ensure a free flow of rainwater and the receding level in case of flooding will not be hampered," Khairnar said. The MMRCL did not respond to our calls.