BMC says Mithi river rejuvenation work will begin in October
At the cost of ₹2,000 crore, Mithi River Water Quality Improvement Project will include the installation of 26 flood gates
Mumbai: Come October and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will commence the much-awaited rejuvenation of the Mithi river to mitigate flooding and improve the quality of water, officials said. Residents from low-lying areas in Bandra Kurla Complex, Sion, LBS Marg and Chunabhatti living close to Mithi River can now breathe easy as they do not have to worry about the water level crossing the danger mark during high tide.
At the cost of ₹2,000 crore, Mithi River Water Quality Improvement Project will include the installation of 26 flood gates between Andheri airport and Mahim Creek to arrest sewerage and industrial waste, which will reduce pollution and improve the quality of water. Vijay Aacharekar, deputy chief engineer of the BMC stormwater drain department, said that the work is anticipated to commence in October.
The civic body has floated tenders for appointing contractors for the construction of flood gates, water pumps and sewer lines, diversion of nullahs into municipal sewer networks, retaining walls and service roads between CST Bridge in Kurla to Mahim Causeway along the banks of Mithi River. The work will start from Prem Nagar Outfall in Kurla.
Aacharekar said that the BMC has also proposed 10-metre wide parallel service roads on both sides of the Mithi river banks from the airport to Mahim Causeway. The existing 2,000 slum dwellers will be removed and rehabilitated. “We will also construct a sewer line on both sides of the road so that sewerage that comes through the slums and other industrial means will be stopped there and later treated at the pumping station,” he said.
Aachrekar added that during high tide, the water from the sea comes in reverse into the Mithi River, thereby increasing the water level. “This coupled with heavy rainfall and 26 outlets draining into the Mithi River causes major flooding in the low-lying areas of Sion, Chunabhatti and Kurla. To tackle the flooding problem, we are installing flood gate pumps so that seawater does not flow into the Mithi once the floodgates are shut.”
The 26 floodgates, to be installed at the cost of ₹1,300 crore, will be at the discharge points in Mithi River between the airport to Mahim Creek. After the appointment of a contractor, work on the removal of encroachments will be undertaken gradually and clearance from Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) will also be sought.
Additionally, a promenade with a viewing gallery will be constructed on the 4-km stretch of Mithi river bank between the western railway in Mahim to LBS Marg in Kurla and a 12 km walking track will be constructed on the periphery of the river.
“The main objective is to mitigate floods by installing floodgates, arrest sewerage and industrial waste to reduce pollution. The beautification of Mithi River will be done at a later stage and is not a part of the ₹2,000 crore project,” said Aacharekar.