Mayor Shubha Raul called an urgent meeting of all Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officers on Friday fearing the Dahisar river-widening work may hit a roadblock for want of tenements to rehabilitate some project-affected persons.
The widening of the Dahisar is part of the Rs 1,800-crore Brihanmumbai Storm Water Drain (Brimstowad) project that is finally under implementation after years of talk.
Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak was present at Raul’s meeting, which discussed the problem of rehabilitating the people living in a particular set of 372 structures encroaching on public property.
“In all there are over 1,000 structures along the Dahisar river that need to be rehabilitated. But the issue is with the 372 structures that need to move in a cluster since it is a lepers’ colony,” said Raul after the meeting. “The MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) had promised to provide 190 tenements but now they seem to have diverted these towards other infrastructure projects.”
The BMC will be writing to the MMRDA and putting forward a separate proposal to provide for tenements.
Brimstowad, a project that aims at revamping the entire drain system in the city to solve the rainwater flooding problem, is scheduled to be completed in two phases.
The first phase consists of 19 works at a cost of Rs 356 crore and the second of 39 works.
The Rs 52 crore worth of project works on the Dahisar that took off in February are scheduled for completion by June 2010. Included among these is the 50 metres of river-widening work in which the plan is to build concrete walls on the banks of the river.
Till now, the wall has been built along two kilometres of the river intermittently, while six kilometres of wall construction remains to be completed.
Of the 684 trees that formed a hurdle to the works, 306 were transplanted and 70 were saved, while the remaining, smaller tress will be cut.
The Dahisar flows through the Raul’s electoral ward at Borivli. Raul is being talked of in political circles as a potential candidate for the Vidhan Sabha elections next year.