Owing to a glitch in the mechanised silt clearing system, the Irla nullah pumping station failed to prevent waterlogging in Juhu and neighbouring areas as the city received its first spell of heavy rains on Saturday.
A sudden collapse of the screening system was cited as the reason behind the failure of the system. Taking note of the glitch, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner, Subodh Kumar, has ordered that the contractor be penalised on a daily basis till the time the problem prevails.
According to civic officials, the collapse of the screening system of the pumping station left only two of the eight pumps meant to discharge water functional. Consequently, areas around the pumping station such as Milan subway, Khar, Vile Parle and Andheri subway were submerged under four feet high water.
The Irla nullah pumping station was commissioned by the civic body last year. Then, a manual system was used to clear the silt at the screening system of the pumping station. After the last monsoon, the BMC decided to install a mechanical system. The project was handed over to a contractor. The mechanised system was being touted as the solution to the chronic problem of waterlogging in Juhu and neighbouring areas.
Taking cognisance of the waterlogging at Milan subway, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray paid a visit to the pumping station on Sunday and directed the civic administration to take immediate measures to solve the issue.
Laxman Vhatkar, chief engineer, storm water drains, said, “There was a problem with the screening system. We are making alternate arrangements to ensure that there is no flooding in the areas.”
Officials from the storm water department claimed that the failure of the screening system should be attributed to the sub-optimal design of the mechanical system. As the silt started accumulating on the screening system, the pumping process slowed down. It will take at least four to five days to replace the mechanical screening system, added the officials.
The BMC has now decided to revert to the manual cleaning system.
Till then, the BMC will increase the number of local pumps in these areas two-fold.