July 16, 2021 10:01:47 pm
A recently inaugurated mini-pumping station at the low-lying Gandhi Market near Matunga, which has a capacity to pump out 2.33 lakh litres of floodwater per minute, failed to provide any respite during the season’s heaviest downpour early on Friday. Rainwater took nearly six hours to recede.
In five hours from 4 am, Gandhi market, which is in the F/north ward area, received 116.9 mm rainfall, categorised as very heavy rainfall by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Every monsoon, the water level in the area rises at least two to three feet and takes time to recede. Over the years, the topography — low-lying location, is blamed for rainwater accumulation. Last monsoon and on June 9 this year — when the area witnessed 2.5 ft of floodwater — it took almost eight hours for the water to recede.
After more than two decades of waterlogging woes, authorities decided to install a mini-pumping station to reduce the time taken by floodwater to recede from Gandhi Market, which is a low-lying area on Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, an arterial road connecting eastern suburbs to the island city that witnesses heavy traffic.
As part of the first phase of the project at Gandhi Market, the mini-pumping station (which has four dewatering pumps), will pump out floodwater and carry it to the Bharat Nagar railway nullah near King Circle from where it will be carried to the sea. In the second phase, floodgates will be built at the nullah to ensure that water during high tide does not enter the market during heavy rainfall.
But on Friday, the floodwater did not reach the end of the arterial road fast enough, where the pumping station is constructed. “The Gandhi Market pumping station work is completed except the trenching work, which we will finish in 10-15 days (non-rainy). The arterial road of the Gandhi market is a flat area and doesn’t have a steep gradient, which is why the floodwater got accumulated at the farthest point and did not reach the pumping station pit fast enough for all the four pumps to be operational. The pit where the floodwater gets accumulated to be pumped out and carried to the sea was half empty,” said P Velrasu, additional municipal commissioner, Storm-Water Drain department.
Velrasu added, “We are constructing a trench along the road/footpath to increase the water flowing speed and another trench line of 2-feet width from the opposite end of the road to the pump-pit. Water from the other side of the road will be carried through this line to the pumping pit.”
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