It seems the residents of Lalbaug area will have to wade through flood water during the monsoon and high tides from this year. The perennially low-lying area in Central Mumbai has seen a two-fold rise in flood water due to the construction of new Lalbaug flyover that has been extended till Bharatmata junction. The flyover occupies 35% of the road space. In fact,flooding woes may remain at a higher level till 2011 though the proposed Britannia outfall pumping station is scheduled to be constructed to flush out additional water.
A study carried out by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) says that the level of flood water at Bharatmata junction has increased as compared to earlier years. In 2007,the flood water level in this area was 25 cm after reeving a rainfall of 172 mm. This year also the area received the same amount of rain,but the flood water level has increased to 50 cm. The good thing is that water has receded in one and half hours because of the measures taken by the storm water drain department. In 2007,it took around four hours for the flood water to recede, said Additional Municipal Commissioner R A Rajeev.
According to him,the reason for more accumulation of water is the new flyover that has taken up 35% of the road space. The MMRDA will be constructing a new 2.5-km long flyover starting from Jijamata Udyan in Byculla. The flyover will end at the Bharatmata junction near the ITC Grand Central Hotel in Parel. The development body had demolished the old Lalbaug flyover months ago.
The level of the rainwater,which got accumulated in the saucer shaped junction,has risen, he said.
However,the study indicates that Lalbaug will be in trouble during heavy rainfall and high tide. Between July 21 and 25,the city will witness high tides above 4.50 metres. On July 25,the city will see the highest tide 5.05 metres in the last 100 years. Lalbaug,which is a saucer shaped low-lying area,is known for flooding with moderate rainfall.
The flooding woes will be tackled only after the augmentation of the storm water drains under the Rs 1200-crore BRIMSTOWAD project. The civic administration has proposed to set up pumping station at the Britannia outfall located at Raey Road. The pumping station will flush out the flood water during high tides and throw it to the sea through high capacity pumps. Work is yet to begin on this project. The deadline of the project is 2011. However,officials said that there will be delay in this project too like in other BRIMSTOWAD projects.