The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) 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 17.8-km Mithi River, which starts at Vihar Lake in Borivali, ends in Arabian Sea at Mahim Causeway.
According to officials, the idea is to prevent entry of seawater into the Mithi River during high tide by construction of a dam or floodgates with pumping arrangements at the outfall locations. The BMC is already in the process of appointing a consultant for creation of holding ponds along the banks of Mithi River to store excess rainwater or overflow of Vihar and Powai Lake. “The same consultant will also be asked to suggest suitable locations for construction of dam or floodgates. Mahim Causeway is one location but other places will be checked for feasibility. The appointed consultant will be given one year to prepare a detailed plan,” said an official from Storm Water Drainage Department.
The consultancy services would cost the civic body around Rs 30 crore.
Officials are confident that holding ponds and creation of dams or floodgates could help them eliminate long term flooding in Kurla, Chunabhatti and Sion areas from Mithi River. In the last five years almost every time during monsoon train services on all three lines were disrupted due to waterlogging. While the Central and Harbour line are severely hit at Sion, Kurla and Chunabhatti, water level also affects Western Line near Matunga Road railway station. This happens about two to three times due to rise in water level of Mithi River due to heavy rainfall coupled with high tide.
This is the third such project BMC has initiated related to Mithi River in the past 15 years. In 2005, after the deluge in Mumbai, the civic body had taken up ‘Mithi River Development Project’ under which deepening and widening of river was done. Similarly, in 2015, the BMC started ‘Mithi River Pollution Control Project’ to improve water quality of the river. This project is also underway as the civic body has taken up several short term measures.
In the latest move after flood-like situation in vicinity of Mithi in 2019, it was decided to appoint the consultants for ‘Mithi River Rejuvenation Project’ to find feasible solutions like creation of artificial lakes or holding ponds along the banks and construction of barrage or dam with pumping arrangement at Mahim Causeway.
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