The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) ambitious project to make the city free of floods during the monsoon has hit a roadblock in the form of 22,000 illegal structures.
The encroachments have hampered 86 ongoing and proposed works monitored by the storm water drains (SWD) department of the BMC.
To resolve the issue, civic chief Ajoy Mehta, last week, instructed ward officials to demolish the encroachments which impede various SWD works on war-footing.
He also directed officials to first complete priority works before next monsoon.
These 86 works include widening of various nullahs in the suburbs along with the old 19th-century drainage systems of the island city.
Eleven years after the launch, the Brihanmumabi Storm Water Drains (Brimstowad) project, which envisages to make the city flood-free, is yet to be completed owing to the civic body’s failure to clear encroachments.
Of the 86 projects, 29 works fall under the Brimstowad and are affected by 13,148 illegal structures.
The project delay has also affected the anti-water logging efforts.
Having missed the Brimstowad the 2015 deadline, the civic body has prioritised various SWD works in two phases. The first phase has 43 contracts,which are affected by more than 10,148 structures. As per the civic chief’s instructions they need to be demolished before next monsoon. The second phase includes 43 works, which are in the tendering process. They are affected by 12,617 structures. A senior civic officer, said, “Various Brimstowad works have also been put in phase II, which will be demolished after next monsoon.”
A ward officer said, “We have been instructed to carry out the demolition. Another problem is to rehabilitate residents, but we have been asked to carry out the demolition drive.”