Monsoon To Hit Mumbai By June 7. Is BMC Prepared?
While Mumbaikars still remember the wrath of monsoon on August 29 last year when the torrential rains submerged most of the areas in the city, the civic authorities have started preparing in advance this time. The Met department has predicted that Mumbai will witness onset of monsoon by June 7.
Earlier, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had decided to fix protective nets under one lakh manholes in Mumbai but in a recently held meeting, the authority has identified only 1,450 manholes in the island city to be fixed by May-end. There will be no additional protective cover near the manholes in suburbs as wards official hasn’t taken any action on the BMC order.
The non-governmental organisation Watchdog Foundation has filed a complaint with the BMC claiming that only 60 per cent of the storm water drain work has been completed at six locations. The work is lying incomplete near Juhu Beach, Palm Gove Hotel, JW Marriott, Juhu Hotel, Juhu Military Road and Juhu Market Road. While BMC has been claiming that the work will be completed within a week but the main problem of slum encroachment is far from being resolved. These settlements discharge large amount of sewage into the sea.
Here’s the latest update on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) groundwork:
- The BMC has claimed that this year the potholes on Mumbai roads will be filled with a superior patented mix, which it will be manufacturing in its own plant in Worli, in collaboration with a German firm. The pothole mix is being tested at six location such as Fort, Byculla, Andheri (West), Ghatkopar, Govandi and Borivli. This cold mix is expected to be effective during monsoon as the mix gets dry quickly and does not disintegrate under heavy traffic.
- The BMC has started conducting the audit of over 1.75 lakh roadside trees and trimming them as part of pre-monsoon work. The order has come in wake of previous year’s mishap when there were a number of deaths owing to tree fall due to extensive concretisation. Apart from this, a slum settlement in hilly areas that are vulnerable to landslides will be notified and warned.
- The BMC is claiming to have increased the Mithi river's flowing capacity by three-times and has constructed retaining wall and service roads along its bank to prevent overflowing. The BMC and the Mumbai Metropolitan Development Authority (MMRDA) had undertaken the Mithi River deepening and widening project at an estimated cost of Rs 1,400 crore in 2006. But even after 12 years, the BMC has failed to complete the project as only 95 per cent work is completed.
- The BMC has also started repairing and desilting of all major and minor nullahs to complete the pre-monsoon work before the deadline. The focus areas are Hindmata, Gandhi Market near King Circle, Sion, Borivili, Mulund, Andheri, Bandra and Mahim.
- The authority has put in place an exclusive phone number that consulates can dial into, and created a separate WhatsApp group for regular updates. The action was taken after consulates had sent a letter to the BMC chief about the city’s disaster management plan and explain the standard operating procedure to follow in case of a natural calamity.
- The Western Railway is taking measures including the cleaning up of culverts, de-silting and raising of tracks to run uninterrupted suburban train services during the monsoon.