May 12, 2018 3:31:51 am
WITH TWO piers of Metro 2A set to be constructed on the Dahisar river, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has blocked the free flow of the river under the river’s bridge, leading to environmentalists raising concerns that if the area is not cleared before the monsoon, it may cause severe flooding.
“Metro construction has blocked the flow of the entire river and at present, water is flowing through cement pipes. Once monsoon begins, this will lead to flooding, as there will be no space left for the water to flow. Every year, the river overflows and enters neighbouring residences. Bottlenecks like these will make it worse,” said Harish Pandey, an activist and a resident of Dahisar.
To create a dry work area on the river, the DMRC has made a cofferdam by filling the river with soil. Work on the side of the bridge had started in March, when the water level in the river is low. “We have filled the area with soil to create a road where work can take place… we have provided pipes to allow reduced flow of water in the summer. We will erect two piers on the river but to create minimum disturbance to the its flow, it will be aligned with the existing piers of Dahisar bridge,” said a senior DMRC official.
Pandey, however, said that in case of heavy rain, the soil may also get washed away. “Mud from the Sanjay Gandhi National Park also washes away and reaches the bridge,” he added. The DMRC, meanwhile, maintained that it proposes to clear the area before the onset of monsoon. “We plan to complete the construction of the two piers in the next two to three days and then hope to complete the pier cap as well. The girders can be laid from the flyover. We should clear the area by May 31… then the soil and the pipes will be removed,” the official said.
The construction of a pedestrian bridge south of the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Bridge is also partially obstructing the flow of the river. Gopal Jhaveri, founder of River March, which has been campaigning for the rejuvenation of the city’s four rivers, said: “They still have some time till the monsoon sets in but all the debris need to be cleared from the river. Otherwise, it will affect its flow.”
Also, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation has obstructed the flow of the Mithi river in the Bandra Kurla Complex area for the construction of Metro 3. It has levelled a portion of the river to create an area where construction work can be undertaken. Since it is a low-lying area, space is needed to operate heavy machinery for piling activity.
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