Byculla residents can heave a sigh of relief this monsoon with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) planning to complete its stormwater drainage augmentation work at seven flood-prone spots in the island city, including four at Byculla.
The civic body’s stormwater drains (SWD) department had undertaken the work for drain augmentation and replacement of old and damaged drains at BA Road junction in Byculla, Burhani College and near S-bridge — the areas are among the 60 flood-prone spots that the civic body plans to tackle before this monsoon. Two other flood-prone areas in the city include Arthur Road, where drains were damaged during monorail work, and near KEM hospital in Parel.
The seven spots will have 3,098 metre drainage system of which work on 2,613 metre has been already completed by the civic body. The BMC seeks to complete work on stormwater drain augmentation, construction of additional drains, addition of floodgates, remodeling of drains, and culvert up-gradation, among others.
With the identification of flooding spots across the city, the BMC’s approach towards flood mitigation has taken a new direction. After concentrating on major stormwater drains post monsoons, the BMC changed its approach and concentrated on localised flooding spots. Twenty-four ward offices, were, for the first time, asked to prepare an area-specific plan to control floods and budgets for the same.
Earlier, the civic body had drafted a list of 225 chronic flooding spots after heavy rainfall on August 29, 2017, and introduced remedial measures for same. Chronic flooding spots are areas where floodwater takes a long time to recede.
Before 2018 monsoon, the civic body had finished work at 160 spots. Some of the areas where work was completed include Masjid Bunder, where floodgates were fixed; Deonar Municipal Colony and Devkabai Chawl in Ghatkopar, where drain augmentation was undertaken; and at Tardeo market, where additional stormwater drains were laid.
In 2018-19 Budget speech, the Municipal Commissioner had mentioned that during the heavy rainfall on August 29, 2017, BMC officials had identified a total of 146 flooding spots, which were later increased to 225 head of 2018 monsoon. During the speech, the commissioner also mentioned that the civic body was confident of finishing flood remedial measures undertaken at infamous Hindmata. A budget provision of Rs 53 crore was made in civic budget of 2019-20.