The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now set a May deadline to complete the much-delayed pumping station in Khar Danda chowpatty. Last year, the civic body had claimed the unfinished work would be completed by January this year. But having missed that deadline, it now hopes the remaining work on the Gazdhar Bandh pumping station will be completed by May.
According to civic officials, the pumping station, once complete, will eliminate flooding during the monsoon in Khar, Juhu, Santacruz and parts of Bandra. In March last year, the civic body had fired the contractor in charge then for delaying the project.
It had then appointed a new contractor to complete the remaining work on the pumping station at a cost of Rs 54 crore. “The earlier contractor was appointed in 2014 and was supposed to finish work in mid-2016 but failed to do so. After penalising the contractor, we have appointed a new company,” a senior official from the Storm Water Drainage (SWD) department said.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Shrikant Kawale, chief engineer of the SWD department, said work would be completed before the monsoon.
In June 2017, municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta and senior Shiv Sena leaders had held a review meeting on the Gazdar Bandh pumping station and announced that it would be made operational soon.
BMC’s answer to prevent flooding
Pumping stations were first proposed after the 2005 deluge. One of the main reasons for the deluge was, during high tide and heavy rainfall, there was backflow of water in the nallahs because of which it could not be discharged into the sea. The BMC had identified seven locations to set up pumping stations. The civic body claims the five existing pumping stations have helped them tackle flooding substantially. There are over 200 flooding spots in the city and suburbs.
The earlier contract was for Rs 120 crore. But officials said the civic body has paid the contractor only a small amount as it failed to complete the work.
This is the sixth pumping station built to reduce water-logging in the city. The civic body has set up five pumping stations — at Love Grove in Worli, Haji Ali, Irla, Cleveland Bunder at Worli and Britannia pumping station at Reay Road — to reduce flooding. Officials said seven such stations were planned after the 2005 deluge in Mumbai.