Five years after the Mithi river overflowed and flooded parts of Mumbai, and claimed more than 500 lives during the July 26 deluge, the city is yet to receive any of the funds the Central government had promised to help widen and deepen the river, thus preventing a repeat of the disaster.
The Brihanmumbai Muni-cipal Corporation (BMC) and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) recently sent a letter to the Centre, asking for Rs 1,300 crore, said Chandrakant Watve, BMC’s chief engineer for stormwater drains. After the 2005 deluge, the Maharashtra government had asked for Rs 1,300 crore from central government, under its urban renewal programme.
However, the Centre returned the proposal in 2008 on grounds that the proposal did not mention Mithi as a river, but as a drain, and urban renewal funds could not be used to clean a drain.
The latest request from the BMC and the MMRDA is an attempt to get the funds under a special category.
The BMC has already spent Rs 400 crore while the MMRDA has spent Rs 300 crore on reviving the river. A lack of funds would further delay the project say civic officials.