The residents in the chronic flooded spots in the city like Hindmata, Lalbaug, Parel, BDD chawls and Reay road will perhaps have to wait for a longer time to get relief from flooding in their areas.
Storm Water Drain (SWD) network augmentation works in the city areas under the Rs 1,800 crore ambitious Brihanmumbai Storm Water and Drainage System (BRIMSTOWAD) project, have been stalled.
The reason? The large number of underground utilities like the water, gas, telephone and electricity lines that criss-cross the city's British era underground drainage network have been unmapped, leading to a problem in digging up the roads for the drain augmentation work. This means that the works will not be completed before the next monsoons.
However, there is consolation in store for people staying in the suburbs. Most of the BRIMSTOWAD works there are on track due to lack of an underground drainage network. Depending on the time period and cost of the project, some will get over before the rains unlike the city areas where most of the works are yet to start.
The BRIMSTOWAD project aims at doubling the capacity of the city's storm water drain network to drain out 50 mm of water in an hour from the existing 25 mm per hour, with enhanced rainwater runoff capacity. The project will be funded under the Centre's Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
However, the civic body is planning to map these utilities by using an underground Close Circuit Camera (CCTV) network in a two-month duration.
In this two-month duration project, cameras will be mounted on trolleys and sent into the underground drains to map the utilities and assess where they need to be strengthened. Wherever possible, workers will be sent in manually to map the utilities and their condition and changes will be made accordingly in the SWD augmentation plan.
The first phase of BRIMSTOWAD contains four SWD augmentation works worth Rs 77.10 crore in the city areas. This involved work at Dr E Moses road, Reay Road, Patthe Bapurao Road and Body Lane (Mumbai Central). Of these, work has started only on the Bodyguard Lane project.
The Rs one crore CCTV proposal will come up soon before the standing committee and general body for approval. However, officials fear that the imposition of the code of conduct may put a spoke in floating new proposals.
Said AS Nabar, Director, BRIMSTOWAD, "However, much of the flooding took place in the suburbs, where the BRIMSTOWAD works are progressing smoothly. Moreover, regular desilting and cleaning is also carried out by the SWD department to prevent flooding."