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Mumbai Rains: A look at the South Mumbai mayhem on fateful August 6

Updated on: 07 August,2020 07:40 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Hemal Ashar |

Mumbai Rains: A look at the South Mumbai mayhem on fateful August 6

Workers remove fallen trees from the road near the Hanging Gardens on Thursday. Pic/ Shadab Khan

South Mumbai mayhem prevailed on Wednesday as the rain chose the city's spiffy pocket as target of its fury. And then, yesterday, with a landslide, water troubles, traffic diversions and communications down, it was still brutal in D ward, comprising Kemp's Corner, Babulnath and Malabar Hill in focus.

Caving in

The civic authorities and local politicians were on the site of a retaining wall collapse, near the Kemp's Corner flyover, on the road leading to Babulanth and the Hanging Gardens. More trees fell on Thursday, adding to the debris from Wednesday.

"The road near the Hanging Gardens cracked. We have had unprecedented rainfall, and as much as we can try, nobody can foresee a situation like never before," said D ward Assistant Municipal Commissioner Prashant Gaikwad. He said the "damage assessment is on'' and it is hard to tell now how long the repair work will take.

Trimming tussle

On Wednesday evening, two trees from the All Saints' Church next to the Acropolis building on Little Gibbs Road at Malabar Hill, came crashing down. They flattened cars in the building compound and damaged the pump room. Indrani Malkani, founder-secretary of the Little Gibbs Advance Locality Management (ALM) said, "Pre-monsoon tree trimming is a must. Acropolis has been spot on and very particular with getting the trees trimmed. The BMC is responsible, too, but it is a two-way process. I have also witnessed arguments between locals and authorities when the latter arrive for tree trimming, with residents saying their green cover is affected. This has to be done in a spirit of cooperation." A senior official from the BMC's Garden Department backed the necessity of tree trimming. "I had sent numerous notices to several D ward housing societies, some in Nepean Sea Road, that trees need trimming. We had also put out a public notice in a newspaper before the virus outbreak, asking people to prepare for monsoon and get the trees trimmed.

"We also face stiff opposition from people when my team arrives for trimming. I cannot argue with them the entire day, I have thousands of other trees to attend to." However, the official acknowledged that some of the trees that fell over the past couple of days had been trimmed before monsoon.

Road blocks

Doongerwadi has seen some destruction, too, and the paths have been blocked, "as a large number of trees have fallen," said Bombay Parsi Panchayat trustee Viraf Mehta. "There has been some damage to the Lower Bangli pavilion structure, and workers are clearing the site, after which other problems will be addressed. Priority is restoring water supply, as the BMC pipe has also broken."

Water worry

The water problem was not restricted to the area, it stretched all the way to Colaba. Corporator Harshita Narwekar informed Colaba residents through social media that "the landslide has damaged pipelines supplying water to our areas from the Malabar Hill reservoir. The water department is actively working to resolve this at the earliest." Narwekar warned locals to use water "judiciously" as there is a possibility "of reduced or no water supply for the next two to three days."

Also Read: Mumbai Rains: BMC chiefs changed over years, excuse for city's flooding hasn't

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