Khar residents suffer in BMC-WR culvert war | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Khar residents suffer in BMC-WR culvert war

mumbai Updated: Jul 11, 2011 01:17 IST
Prajakta Chavan
Prajakta Chavan
Hindustan Times
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For two hundred families, who reside in 65 buildings of the Jay Bharat Society spread over five acres at Khar, rains spell trouble.

The entire area is waterlogged during the rains with a poorly-maintained and clogged culvert only adding to the residents' monsoon woes.

Rainwater often seeps into the ground floor homes on Khar Road number 3, spoiling furniture, elevators and vehicles and even contaminating water in the underground storage tanks.

Water from the culvert number 25 flows into the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) drainage system, which is proving inadequate to handle its flow, claim residents.

But far from suggesting a solution to tackle localised flooding, the civic body and the railway authorities are instead engaged in an ugly culvert war, fighting over who is responsible for maintaining it.

Aggrieved society members have approached the railways and civic body umpteen times over the past few years.

"The civic authorities blame small size of the railway culvert for flooding, while the railway officials blame clogged storm water drainage system for waterlogging," explained Rahul Pai, general secretary of the Jay Bharat Society.

The waterlogging problem has not been addressed for more than 50 years, claim residents. "We have complained to almost all the authorities concerned, but the problem still persists. Even a few spell of rain, floods the entire area," said 61-year-old Jagdish Desai, a resident of Jay Bharat Society.

During heavy rainfall, people are often forced to stay indoors. "We have to wade our way through waterlogged road, if we need to step out. We don't know what to do in case of an emergency," said Rohit Gulati, 38, businessman and a resident of Paradise building.

When HT contacted Nandakumar Sakpal, assistant engineer, BMC, he said: "This is a low-lying area due to which water from nearby Pali Hill and Ambedkar Road flows and accumulates here. We have installed pumping stations but water flow reverses in case there's high tide."

He added, "If the railway culvert between Khar (West) and (East) is cleaned regularly and widened, the problem could be resolved." Responding BMC's claims, Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, Western Railway, said, "If the civic body wants the culvert to be broadened, it should send us a written request and provide funds for the same."

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