Blame game? If Parel is flooded this monsoon, blame Railways, says Mumbai civic body

mumbai Updated: Mar 11, 2018 00:28 IST
Mumbai,Mumbai rains,BMC

During the monsoons every year, the low lying areas of Hindmata, Parel, and Elphinstone Road are prone to massive floods. (HT FILE)

If the low-lying area of Parel is flooded this monsoon, it is the Railways’ fault, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The Railways, on the other hand, has insisted that monsoon-related work is going on and will be completed by the end of April.

While BMC has completed the work of widening storm water drains in the Parel area, one of the chronic flooding spots in Mumbai, it has identified one bottleneck in the drains — 100 metres in length — that passes under the railway tracks of the Elphinstone and Parel stations. This could result in a choked drain and flooding on the surface, said a civic official. While BMC took up the work of replacing this drain along with Railways, the civic body claims the latter is behind schedule, and work is unlikely to finish before the onset of monsoon.

Following municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta’s visit to the site on February 28, BMC wrote to Railways on March 6 complaining about the sluggish pace of work, and requested taking up monsoon-related work urgently.

Assistant commissioner of the F (South) ward, Kishor Desai, under whose jurisdiction these areas fall said, “Railways has only initiated the work some months ago, and there has been no progress since. If the Parel floods this time, it is not our fault, as we have taken all precautions and done our bit.”

Western Railway insisted that the pre-monsoon work is going on as per the schedule.

Ravindra Bhakar, spokesperson for Western Railway said, “All monsoon-related work is going on. In this particular case also, there is no delay. Work will be completed by the end of April.”

The Central Railway spokesperson was not available for comment.

During the monsoons every year, the low lying areas of Hindmata, Parel, and Elphinstone Road are prone to massive floods.

This drain catering to the Parel (East) area passes through Jagannath Bhatkar marg on one side of the railway tracks, and Fitwala Road on the other side. The drain was originally 600 mm in diameter, which is too narrow for water to pass unobstructed. BMC has now fitted a 9 feet by 5 feet wide drain. Desai said, “If the drain gets choked due to weed or chunks of muck, which normally causes surface flooding, it is wide enough to facilitate cleaning. However, there is an ‘S’ shaped patch under the railway track that is problematic and needs to be replaced.”

Flood water is then expected to pass into the sea at Worli smoothly. If work is completed before the monsoon, it will ease flooding in areas of Tata Memorial Hospital, KEM Hospital, and Railway Colony in Parel.

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 00:28 IST