The waterlogging, which disrupted life in Mumbai last Friday, was not just a result of torrential rain, but also minor drains in the city being clogged. While Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Ajoy Mehta accepted that more than 200 clogged drains were also responsible for the flooding in several parts of the city, the civic body has itself to blame for the situation.
The BMC’s proposal to conduct a survey of minor drains has been in the pipeline for a year now, but there has been no action on it. The civic body had last year proposed a detailed survey of minor drains and nullahs to have accurate information, such as their location.
The minor drains play an important role in carrying the rain water to the pumping stations and eventually into the sea.
The survey is crucial as it involves GIS-based mapping of minor drains, to prepare a software to maintain data — their length, breadth and width — of each of the drains. This data will be useful to know their capacity and the time it would take to flush out floodwater after heavy rain. Accurate data about the drains would mean civic officials keeping required equipment ready to unclog them when needed.
However, the proposal for the survey has been moving at a snail’s pace, with the civic standing committee even rejecting it a few months ago, citing high cost.
There are more than 200 minor drains spread across 430km in the city.
The cost of the proposed project is around Rs 13 crore, which includes survey as well as GIS mapping.
The project was expected to be completed in two years, with the consultants appointed for it t raining t he BMC engineers on how to operate the software.
“The project has been delayed owing to the standing committee’s rejection. We have made some changes in the proposal and soon it will be put before committee again,” a senior civic official from storm drain department.
When asked why the proposal was rejected, Trishna Vish was rao, a Shiv Sen a corporator and leader of the house, said, “I don’t remember the proposal, but earlier there might have been some problem. If administration sends it for approval again, we will give our nod.”