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‘AAI choked Mithi, led to floods’

A tug-of-war between the BMC and AAI may have caused flooding of hutments at Zari Mari, Tanaji Nagar and Shivaji Nagar, on the banks of the Mithi river, reports Debasish Panigrahi.

india Updated: Jul 03, 2007 03:26 IST
Debasish Panigrahi
Debasish Panigrahi
Hindustan Times

A tug-of-war between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) may have caused Saturday’s flooding of hutments at Zari Mari, Tanaji Nagar and Shivaji Nagar — on the banks of the Mithi river — forcing the evacuation of at least 1,500 people.

Terming the flood as “AAI-made”, local corporator S. Annamalai told HT on Monday: “AAI choked the Mithi. Every time it rains heavily, the area is bound to be flooded.” Annamalai said that four months ago, AAI started constructing a boundary wall for the international airport, on the banks of the Mithi. “It was an open area, mostly farmland. It helped the overflowing water spread northwards, sparing slums on one side. However, the airports authority didn’t heed my warning that the wall would land up marooning slums on the other side,” said Annamalai.

But SRR Rao, AAI’s regional executive director, flatly denied the charge. “I am not aware of any such commitment,” he said.

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