400 people residing along Mumbai’s Mithi evacuated as river swells up
Around 400 people residing on the banks of Mithi River were evacuated by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Sunday morning, as the water level touched the danger mark.
Mithi’s water level rose to 3.5m — considered dangerous — at 7am, and further increased to 4m at 9.15am. The disaster management department evacuated residents of Kranti Nagar in Kurla around 7.15am and moved them to the nearby Bazarwad Municipal School, where they were attended to by doctors, if necessary.
Earlier on Saturday too, the BMC had to evacuate 250 people as the water level had touched the danger mark. “We started evacuating people when the water level touched 3.5 metres. We shifted residents of Kranti Nagar area as it was most vulnerable,” said a senior official from the disaster management department. The civic body, while evacuating the residents, asked them to carry only cash and important documents. They have been given food and water at the municipal school.
The official from the disaster management department said, “A big challenge for us in carrying out such evacuations is that we have to communicate the danger to a large number of people in a very short time, and shift them to the nearest safe shelter. Another challenge is to convince people to remain at the shelter, because no one wants to stay.”
Later on Sunday, BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi visited the Mithi River — near the Nandadeep culvert, in Kalanagar area, prone to severe waterlogging every monsoon — to take stock of the situation. Last month, the municipal commissioner had directed the stormwater drains department to not concretise the banks and bed of the river so that rainwater percolates into the soil. By Sunday evening, only 30 out of the 400 people evacuated on Sunday morning remained at the municipal school where food and stay was organised by the BMC.