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Ghost of 2005 deluge set to revisit city

With monsoon, the threat of flooding, especially on high-tide days, is back to haunt Mumbaiites.

mumbai Updated: Jun 01, 2013 00:56 IST
HT Correspondent

With monsoon, the threat of flooding, especially on high-tide days, is back to haunt Mumbaiites.

The civic body has sounded an alarm among locals and authorities for a stretch of six days in June and five in July (see box) when there will be unusually high tidal movement and the city could come to halt if there is heavy rainfall. It was a combination of the two which submerged the city on July 26, 2005.

“If the city experiences heavy rain on the high-tide days identified by the civic disaster management department, the low-lying areas and people living close the shore will be affected. We have circulated the dates among concerned authorities to initiate necessary action,” said municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte.

He said Mumbaiites should stay indoors if there are heavy showers on these days. “If necessary, we will also issue orders for evacuation in certain vulnerable areas that could witness heavy flooding,”

The situation could turn grim as the desilting of rivers and nullahs has been delayed and the pumping station projects at Cleveland Bunder and Lovegrove that were to be operational this year are not ready.

While the deadline to complete the desilting work of nullahs was May 31, almost 30% of work remains unfinished. The situation along Mithi river is even worse as more than 40% of work still incomplete. The civic body has identified 66 flooding spots and has installed 222 dewatering pumps in the areas. Forty areas have been deemed chronic flooding spots.

In the case of beaches, where 22 deaths were reported last year, the civic has scaled up its safety mechanisms on days that witness heavy crowds.