Mithi will finally get its Rs 500 crore makeover.
After a four-month delay, the second phase of widening and deepening the Mithi River will start on February 15, according to the Mithi River Development and Protection Authority (MRPDA).
The delay came even after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi promised action after the July 2005 deluge.
The width of the river has been determined following recommendations by the Central Water and Power Research Station. A buffer zone of 20 meters along the bank in certain spots is also being planned as per recommendations by an Indian Institute of Technology team.
The width of the river at the mouth at Mahim causeway will be widened to 100 meters up to CST Bridge, and the portion from CST Bridge to Andheri-Kurla Road will be widened to 200 meters. From Andheri – Kurla road to JVLR the width would be 60 meters and upstream a width of 40 meters will be maintained, said Dr Vikas Tondwalkar, Director, MRPDA.
"The state has requested the amount of Rs 500 crore form the Centre under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Mission Plan," said Tondwalkar. The cost of the entire project is pegged at Rs 1,200 crore out of which Rs 100 crores has been spent in implementing the first phase.
About 35 bridges, including railway crossing, will be affected in the project and hence will have to be widened along with the river. An estimated 20,000 slum dwellers will have to be moved. Among them 15,000 are protected slum dwellers and will be rehabilitated by Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority.
The buffer zone will be maintained along the Ganesh Naik Nagar slums, Mahim Ambedkar nagar slums in Dharavi and near the airport as additional holding ponds, Tondwalkar said.
Vakola nalla which joins the Mithi, will also be widened from the existing 20 meters to 60 meters.
Phase one, which concluded before the monsoons last year, increased the water carrying capacity of the river by three times, he added.
However, the entire work of deepening and desilting, widening of the river and bridges, construction of a retaining wall along the banks of the river and development of a buffer zone including demolition of the structures is expected to be over by 2010.