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Mumbai rain: Crores spent by BMC, all washed away | Mumbai News – Times of India

MUMBAI: The BMC’s tall claims of making the city flood-free went for a toss on Wednesday as several locations reported flooding and waterlogging. While chronic spots like Hindmata and Sion’s Gandhi Market were flooded, several other areas from Andheri to Mulund reported waterlogging a day after the BMC announced it had carried out 104% desilting this year.
With BMC elections scheduled in February next year, BJP slammed the Shiv Sena-ruled BMC. “The business of cut commission has been exposed in the first rain. There has been Rs 1,000 crore corruption in the last five years in desilting works. Every year, Rs 70-100 crore are spent on cleaning drains, apart from money spent on repairing storm water drains (SWD). There was flooding even in areas where it doesn’t usually flood,” said BJP MLA Ashish Shelar.

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Every year, the BMC comes up with excuses when, invariably, the first burst of heavy rain exposes its claims. But this year, it had adequate time to carry out pre-monsoon work, and the lockdown meant it could not cite movement as a reason hampering works. The BMC should have ensured zero or little waterlogging at chronic spots across the city, or at least that the water recedes faster. Hundreds of crores have been spent on flood prevention initiatives, but these have failed to deliver. With the full monsoon ahead, corrective measures must be taken and stern action initiated against errant officials and contractors.

While BMC chief Iqbal Chahal had reviewed the city’s monsoon preparedness on Monday, the BMC had claimed it had removed around 3.24 lakh tonnes of silt from the city’s drains and completed 104% of desilting works.
The prime flooding spots of Hindmata and Gandhi Market were flooded for several hours. This year, BMC had built an underground inlet chamber or a sump at the lowest point, where excess rainwater can be stored and later pumped out via a storm water drain line to a nullah nearby. The BMC was hoping to pump out the rainwater that floods the arterial road using high-powered pumps and flood gates that would prevent sea water from entering the SWD network during high tide. The BMC is spending around Rs 16 crore for this project to ensure Gandhi Market does not flood. “The Rs 16 crore project has missed the deadline. The water at Gandhi Market did not recede even by 5 pm,” said local resident Sridhar Ramamurthy.
At Hindmata, BMC is carrying out a Rs 140 crore project, building underground water tanks and an elevated road and increasing capacity of SWDs.
In the western suburbs, areas like Santacruz saw flooding. Constructed at a cost of over Rs. 100 crore, the Gazdhar Bandh pumping station at Santacruz failed to give relief to citizens.
The pumping station, commissioned in 2019, was intended to provide relief from waterlogging in areas like Khar, Santacruz, Juhu and Andheri. But Gautam Rao of Gazdar Scheme Residents Trust said there was flooding in Guzdar scheme and Saraswat colony despite BMC’s claims in an affidavit that there will be no flooding.
BMC chief I S Chahal said, “Despite heavy rain and waterlogging, there was no traffic blockage at Hindmata due to the elevated ramp constructed by BMC. We have just got permission to pay for pipelines below the NTC Mills for the water tanks at St Xavier’s Ground in Parel and Pramod Mahajan Udyan in Dadar. This work will be fast-tracked and provide relief to Hindmata. This is the first time in 15 years that traffic was not blocked at Hindmata.”
Flooding was reported in Bandra (E) in housing societies in the backyard of Matoshree, the residence of CM Uddhav Thackeray.


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