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In pics: Will Mumbai flood this monsoon? HT’s audit finds out

Mumbai city news: HT takes a look at nullahs, or storm water drains, all of which scored less than four out of ten. They were filled with garbage, and one week past the deadline, cleaning work was far from over

mumbai Updated: Jun 06, 2017 19:40 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Sanjana Bhalerao
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Mumbai monsoon,monsoon
A clogged, polluted Behrampada nullah in Mumbai’s Bandra East on June 4. (Praful Gangurde)

How ready is Mumbai to deal with the monsoon this year? 3.8 on a scale of 10, according to a panel of experts that helped HT conduct its annual monsoon audit.

The panel of five experts — a former municipal commissioner, two former civic engineers and two citizen activists —rated how prepared the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is to deal with the rains. The score it gave washes away the BMC’s claims that the city is monsoon-ready. Ten storm water drains that can lead to water logging in the city and five roads prone to developing potholes and impact the flow of traffic were studied.

The verdict? If the rains were to hit Mumbai soon, the BMC will be in a tough spot to deliver a flood-free monsoon as promised, the panellists said.

In this annual series, HT takes a look at five nullahs, or storm water drains, all of which scored less than four out of ten. They were filled with garbage, and one week past the deadline, cleaning work was far from over.


Why it matters: The nullah flowsthrough Bandra with rain water and connects to Mithi. If not cleaned properly, it could lead to flooding in Bandra.

What the HT panel found: One of the worst nullahs HT visited. It was filled with garbage and clogged with silt. The nullah had further narrowed as more slums have come up along its banks.


Why it matters: The nullah flows from Vile Parle and connects to drains in Andheri and Juhu. If it clogs, it will flood Vile Parle, Andheri and Juhu — all densely populated areas.

What the HT panel found: The nullah was not cleared of silt and dirt. Two of the five experts gave zero marks for monsoon preparation at the site.


Why it matters: Major and minor nullahs flow into Mithi . It flows through the city, which means how clean it is decides if the western suburbs and central Mumbai will flood.

What the HT panel found: Floating material such as shrubs were common. The panel said the presence of shrubs was a clear indication work was incomplete at one of the most crucial sites.


Why it matters: An important extension of the Mithi river, it carries storm water from flood-prone areas of Mahim and Dharavi into the river. If not cleaned, these low-lying areas could get severely flooded.

What the HT panel found: The condition of the drain is a clear indication that BMC needs to install sewage disposal systems in slums. There is a constant discharge of sewage into the drain from encroachments near the nullah. Even if the BMC has cleaned it, within a few hours of the work the nullah is filled with filth and silt again and this will lead to heavy flooding.


Why it matters: These drains are a crucial outlet for other minor ones that flow from Dharavi and Sion into the Mithi River. If these drains clog, there could be flooding in Dharavi.

What the HT panel found: The mouths of the box drains were blocked with silt and garbage. HT’s expert panel found there was no way to clean them, except manually — by sending in people to remove all the filth. The flow of the water was also obstructed by silt and garbage in these drains.

First Published: Jun 06, 2017 18:58 IST