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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

BMC plans to construct tunnel to prevent overflow of Vihar lake into Mithi river

Last week, the civic body appointed a consultant to conduct feasibility of constructing a tunnel that would take the excess water to the Bhandup Complex Water Treatment Plant or Airoli creek.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai | November 10, 2020 1:15:16 am
Vihar lake overflow, Mithi river, BMC to construct tunnes, Mumbai news, Maharashtra news, Indian express newsResidents of Kranti Nagar, Bail Bazaar and Taximen’s Colony suffer waterlogging every monsoon as the Mithi river swells. (Representational)

Residents of Kurla (West) are likely to get some relief from flooding every monsoon, as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is trying to start a project to prevent the overflow of Vihar lake into the Mithi river. Last week, the civic body appointed a consultant to conduct feasibility of constructing a tunnel that would take the excess water to the Bhandup Complex Water Treatment Plant or Airoli creek.

Residents of Kranti Nagar, Bail Bazaar and Taximen’s Colony suffer waterlogging every monsoon as the Mithi river swells. Around 1,300 people live in Kranti Nagar and Bamandaya Pada, located on the banks of the river. The river floods due to heavy rainfall coupled with high tide besides the excess water from Powai and Vihar lakes being drained into it.

Since the width and depth of the Mithi river has reduced over the years, the water floods the areas around. In some instances, the floodwater has even entered the airport’s runway at Santacruz, hampering operations. An overflowing Mithi also cripples the Railway’s western, central and harbour lines, and submerges areas like Sion, Chunabhatti and Matunga.

On Friday, the BMC standing committee appointed Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE) to conduct the study at the cost of Rs 2.35 crore. The study is expected to be completed in six months.

According to officials, the consultant will submit a preliminary report, geotechnical survey and ecological studies for the project. “The consultant will also assess the damage to the environment and trees affected during the diversion process. Depending on the feasibility report, excess water will be diverted to either Airoli creek or Bhandup Treatment Plant,” said an official.

While Vihar lake is located in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), the Powai lake is situated near IIT-Bombay. Moreover, when Tulsi lake — also located in SGNP — overflows, the excess water enters the Vihar lake, said a BMC official.

NCP corporator from Kurla, Saida Khan, had written to then additional municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal in 2019 after the Mithi river overflowed three times that year. She had demanded that the excess water be diverted into the Airoli creek.

This is the second project planned to tackle the flooding in Kurla due to overflowing Mithi river. The BMC is mulling over a plan to create holding ponds along the river to store excess water during monsoon. In another project, the civic body is contemplating the construction of floodgates or a small dam at the mouth of the Mahim Causeway, in an attempt to stop the chronic flooding that hits areas like Sion, Chunabhatti and Kurla from Mithi river. The consultancy services for the project would cost the civic body around Rs 30 crore.

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