Waterlogged streets, traffic snarls and stranded people — the visuals seen in Mumbai every monsoon are set to make a comeback this year too. Reason: contrary to the civic body’s claims, around 50% of the drain replacement and repair work is yet to be completed.
The storm water drains (SWD) department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has taken up 100 works in the city. Of the Rs1,212 crore allotted for the storm water drains department in the 2014-15 civic budget, Rs540 crore has been spent so far. While 50 of them are not even half-way through, some works that have been pending for the past three years, too, haven’t been completed.
The work on the six drain pipes near Mahalaxmi station could be a case in point. Although the repair work can help control flooding at Saat Rasta, Chinchpokli and Currey Road stations, the work – which will include shifting of 20 shops -- has been going on for the past three years.
Not just this, the replacement of the 2-km drain pipe between Reay Road and Sandhurst Road stations and another drain pipe near Byculla (East), both of which are worth Rs10 crore each, too, show no signs of completion. The work on the laying of drains near the Hindmata junction, however, is in progress and is expected to be complete before the start of the monsoon.
“The work on the replacement and repair of pipelines in the suburbs is pending because it started around January. The work that is nearing completion has been going on for almost two years,” said a senior civic official, on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Laxman Vhatkar, chief engineer, storm water drains department, said, “We will be able to complete the major works within a month. This will help us bring flooding under control. The work on the Mahalaxmi drain pipes is nearing completion.”