Why you should avoid Mumbai during monsoons: City does not learn its lessons

Updated on Jun 06, 2017 11:34 AM IST
An audit of 15 spots prone to flooding, conducted for the Hindustan Times by a panel of experts, found the BMC had a long way to go to ensure Mumbai does not flood this year
The HT audit found the Behrampada nullah at Bandra was still clogged, even with just days to go for the monsoon to hit Mumbai.(Praful Gangurde)
The HT audit found the Behrampada nullah at Bandra was still clogged, even with just days to go for the monsoon to hit Mumbai.(Praful Gangurde)
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

Fold up your pants and roll up your sleeves. Mumbai is not ready for the monsoon this year.

An audit of 15 spots prone to flooding, conducted for the Hindustan Times by a panel of experts, found the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had a long way to go to ensure Mumbai does not flood this year.

And, if you live in the western suburbs, you’ll probably have a harder time.

The panel — a former municipal commissioner, two retired chief engineers and two citizen activists — conducted its audit on June 2, two days after the BMC’s deadline to finish pre-monsoon work such as cleaning drains and fixing roads.

It found garbage floating on nullahs, drains full of silt and debris dumped along the sides.

Read: Mumbai is at Mithi’s mercy, again

The panel gave the city’s overall monsoon preparedness a poor 3.8, on a scale of 10. “To ensure the city does not flood, it is necessary to complete all pending work on a war footing,” said panellist V Ranganathan, a former chief secretary of the state, and a former civic chief.

HT’s panel was also surprised to find the Mithi river, usually cleaned on time as it plays a vital role in saving the city from flooding, was still clogged, and that delisting work had not even begun at many spots. The BMC admitted it has finished only 20% of the desilting work at Mithi.

This is a warning sign for residents of western and central Mumbai.

But, the BMC insists Mumbai is rain-ready. Civic officials said they will repeat 2016, when Mumbai did not flood. In a press note, the civic body said chronic flooding spots such as Hindmata, Milan subway, Nanachowk, King’s Circle and Sion Road number 24 did not witness water logging in 2016 despite heavy rains, when compared to 2015.

On June 9, the BMC said it will inaugurate the much-delayed Guzderband pumping station at Khar. This is one of the eight pumping stations planned under the Brihanmumbai storm water drains project (Brimstowad) following the 2005 deluge that shattered the city.

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