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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

1,425 manholes covered in south Mumbai’s flood-prone areas, BMC tells high court

As per an affidavit filed by the civic body in HC, so far, it has secured 1,425 manholes in flood-prone areas between Churchgate and Mahim.

mumbai Updated: Jun 22, 2018 13:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
The civic body has also prepared a list of dilapidated buildings.
The civic body has also prepared a list of dilapidated buildings.(HT Photo/Representational Image )
         

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday told the Bombay high court (HC) that all manholes in flood-prone areas, across municipal limits, have been secured by covers and protective iron grills.

According to an affidavit filed by the civic body in HC, so far, it has secured 1,425 manholes in flood-prone areas between Churchgate and Mahim; and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Termius and Sion on the central side.

The BMC also assured the division bench of justice Ranjit More and justice Anuja Prabhudessai that if any manhole cover is found to be broken or stolen, it will be replaced immediately by the concerned ward officials.

Senior advocate Anil Sakhare, who represented BMC, said that the disaster management cell of the civic body has developed a mobile app, which provides all monsoon-related details, including weather forecast.

Sakhare apprised the court of BMC’s monsoon preparedness saying that the civic body has identified 10 waterlogging spots, where heavy duty pumps will be installed to pump out water in case of flooding.

He said the corporation has prepared a list of dilapidated buildings, vulnerable spots along the seashore and space has been identified to provide temporary accommodation if residents of these buildings or settlements need to be evacuated. Arrangements have also been made for providing basic necessities like food and potable water. Labour contractors, too, have been identified for emergency engagements.

Sakhare was responding to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association in the backdrop of the tragic death of Dr Deepak Amrapurkar, who slipped in an open manhole near Elphinstone Road station on August 29 last year. Most of the city and suburbs witnessed waterlogging for hours together following heavy downpour in 2017. Thirty six hours later, the body of the 58-year-old doctor was found near a municipal drain at Worli.

Counsel for the petitioner body, advocate Sujay Kantawala, however, doubted the claims of the civic body and urged the court to not dispose of the PIL and allow the petitioner body to verify claims.

Kantawala also complained about BMC’s plea to direct police to keep a check on uncovered or broken manholes. He said the civic body cannot shirk its responsibility to cover manholes and protect lives of taxpayers.

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