Monday, November 29, 1999

BMC, state wake up after Parel flood

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Mumbai, June 18 -- If all goes well, wading through knee-deep water at Hindmata in Parel during monsoons could be a thing of the past. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has initiated the process of acquiring land for constructing a pumping station at Reay Road to give respite to flood-prone spots in central Mumbai. The proposed pumping station, which will come up on Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) land, will drain floodwater from Dadar, Prabhadevi, Parel and other parts of central and south central Mumbai. The Hindustan Times had, on Thursday, reported that low-lying areas such as Hindmata were flooded during Wednesday's downpour because there were no pumping stations there while Irla and Haji Ali saw less water-logging because pumping stations there were operational. Chief Secretary J. P. Dange and Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya visited Hindmata junction on Thursday. "MbPT has agreed to give a plot of land [for the pumping station] and we will get it soon," Kshatriya said after his visit. Pumping stations flush out floodwater from low-lying areas during high tide. The sluice gates at the outfalls prevent seawater from flowing back into the city. The BMC needs 2,200 square metres of land to set up the pumping station. Kshatriya said the BMC wants the land on a 30-year renewable lease. The MbPT, however, has said the plot will be on a non-extendable lease. It also said if MbPT needs the land back, the pumping station will have to be shifted. The BMC did not agree to this. "MbPT officials have forwarded the proposal to their board committee. They will decide soon," said a civic official. Kshatriya, meanwhile, said the storm water drain to be laid near Sardar Hotel, Kalachowkie, will give the area some immediate relief. The Chitale committee had recommended the setting up of eight pumping stations after the 2005 deluge. The Brihanmumbai Storm Water Drain project, which aims at augmenting the capacity of storm water drains, includes a Rs 239-crore pumping stations project.

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