Nullahs of Mumbai’s east: Will they flood this year? HT’s monsoon audit finds out | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Nullahs of Mumbai’s east: Will they flood this year? HT’s monsoon audit finds out

Mumbai city news: How ready is Mumbai to deal with the monsoon this year? 3.8 on a scale of 10, according to a panel of experts that helped HT conduct its annual monsoon audit

mumbai Updated: Jun 09, 2017 13:35 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
The clogged Kranti Nagar nullah flows right under the Mumbai airport runway.
The clogged Kranti Nagar nullah flows right under the Mumbai airport runway. (Praful Gangurde)

In the first part of this series, HT took a look at the cleaning status of five nullahs in the western suburbs. All of them scored less than four out of ten. They were filled with garbage, and one week past the deadline, cleaning work was far from over.

In the second part, we take a look at the nullahs in the city’s east, and how likely they are to flood.

For HT’s annual audit, a panel of five experts — a former municipal commissioner, two former civic engineers and two citizen activists —rated how prepared the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is to deal with the rains.

The score it gave — 3.8 out of 10 — washes away the BMC’s claims that the city is monsoon-ready. Ten storm water drains that can lead to water logging in the city and five roads prone to developing potholes and impact the flow of traffic were studied.

The verdict? If the rains were to hit Mumbai soon, the BMC will be in a tough spot to deliver on its promise of a flood-free monsoon, the panellists said.

1. KRANTI NAGAR, KURLA

WHY IT MATTERS: This is a crucial stretch of the Mithi as it passes through low-lying areas of Kurla and Kalina. It also flows under the airport runway. If it is clogged when the rains hits, densely populated areas near the airport will flood

WHAT THE HT PANEL FOUND: The nullah was one of the worst spots that HT’s panel visited during its audit. The monsoon is nearly here, but the cleaning of this nullah had just started, when it should have been ending.

2. GOBAR NULLAH, MILAN SUBWAY, SANTACRUZ

WHY IT MATTERS: It runs along Milan subway, a crucial east-west link. Clogged drains will be directly responsible for flooding the subway

WHAT THE HT PANEL FOUND: The nullah was full of gobar, or cow-dung. The water was stagnant, making it a breeding spot for mosquitoes. The BMC has installed three water pumps at the spot as this stretch has a history of flooding

3. RAFIQ NAGAR NULLAH, GOVANDI

WHY IT MATTERS: It is a major nullah in the east, it carries water from Govandi, Mankhurd, Chembur and Ghatkopar. It also runs near Deonar dumping ground

WHAT THE HT PANEL FOUND: Desilting at one of the most densely populared areas was still underway when HT visited. Garbage and sewage were floating — this will lead to flooding, and is also a health hazard for the slums above

4. SUBHASH NAGAR NULLAH, MANKHURD

WHY IT MATTERS: It flows under Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road. It carries rain water from Wadala, Chembur, Chunabhatti and connects to the Thane Creek.

WHAT THE HT PANEL FOUND: Work on a bridge on the nullah’s north was in progress, when BMC’s deadline was May 31. In 2016, the Subhash Nagar nullah was rated the best. This year, there was silt, mud and plants . The saving grace — no encroachments

5. EVERARD NAGAR NULLAH, EASTERN EXPRESS HIGHWAY

WHY IT MATTERS: It is one of the biggest nullahs in the city. It runs from Vidyavihar to Mankhurd in the eastern suburbs. If it is not cleaned properly and remains clogged, it could cause severe flooding in the eastern suburbs during a downpour.

WHAT THE HT PANEL FOUND: The status of this nullah was a silver lining. This is one of the few spots in the city where pre-monsoon work was actually making a difference. HT found the only floating garbage was that thrown in by residents of nearby slums