Thanks to the overflowing Vakola nullah, monsoon brings along a fear of swamped drains and flooded streets for residents from the area.
“Though it didn’t rain much over the last weekend, the nullah was overflowing. If it rains heavily, there could be a relapse of the July 2005 deluge,” said BN Vaidikar, a resident of Dhobi Ghat Road who lost his belongings in the deluge and whose building is located close to the nullah.
The Vakola nullah, an offshoot of Mithi River, is filled with garbage and silt. After the July 2005 floods, the civic body and the MMRDA began work on the 22-km retaining wall along the river under the Brihanmumbai Storm Water Disposal System. Locals have alleged that the service road used to construct the retaining wall from Vakola bridge has reduced the width of the nullah by 70 foot, blocking the natural flow.
“The direct discharge of untreated sewage, waste water from unauthorised settlements, sludge and industrial effluents have converted the nullah into a sewage plant,” said Bhupendra Singh, president, Vakola Welfare Association. “When we approach the BMC and corporators, we are forced to return with a fresh set of false promises,” he added.
Manish Pimple, assistant municipal commissioner, H-East ward, said, “We are ready for monsoon. We hope that the area will not get flooded this time.”
“The de-silting procedure is on. The nullah will be cleared soon,” said Dilip Kawathkar, spokesperson, MMRDA.