While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) claims that its two pumping stations have succeeded in preventing floods in their areas, sources said only the one at Irla is completely functional while the one at Haji Ali is working only at 20 per cent capacity.
The BMC planned four pumping stations, one each at Irla, Haji Ali, Cleaveland Bunder and Love Grove by 2011. “Work at Cleaveland Bunder and Love Grove hasn’t even begun due to land acquisition problems,” an officer from the Stormwater Drains Department said on condition of anonymity.
“Earlier, at places like Milan Subway, rainwater would collect for five to six hours. This year, this is not the case, thanks to the Irla pumping station,” said an official.
The pumps flush out floodwater from low-lying areas into the sea through sluice gates that prevent seawater from entering the drains.
“Of the 186 outfalls, 45 are below mean sea level. Most of these are in the island city, of which — at Haji Ali, Cleaveland Bunder and Love Grove — have floodgates,” said the officials.
At Haji Ali, the sources said, only one of the two stormwater lines has been connected to the pumping station. “The line yet to be connected gets more than 80 per cent of the floodwater from Central Mumbai,” said the official.
Chandrakant Watve, chief engineer (stormwater drains), said the line would be connected only after the monsoon. “A few water mains will have to be raised in order to connect this line,” said Watve.