May 23, 2009 12:08:09 am
Two years after work began on the BMCs BRIMSTOWAD,or Brihanmumbai Strom Water Drainage project,not one pumping station will be ready to provide relief this monsoon.
The civic administration had assured that of the four proposed floodwater pumping stations,part of Phase I of BRIMSTOWAD,at least those at Haji Ali and Irla would be ready to flush out floodwater from low-lying areas during high tide.
Now,top officials have conceded it will be difficult to finish work in time for this monsoon.
The 16-year-old project,being fully funded by the Centre,included construction of pumping stations at four key outfalls – Haji Ali,Cleveland Bunder,Lovegrove Junction at Worli (all in the island city) and Irla Nullah in the western suburbs. We had expected Haji Ali and Irla pumping stations to be completed by the monsoon,but this seems unlikely, said a senior official from the storm water drains department.
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Work on both projects is on in full swing but floodgates,box drains and a major part of inlet and outlet channels need to be constructed. The pumping stations are 75 to 85 per cent complete we are working hard to install floodgates,but it is very doubtful, the official said.
Floodgates are crucial to the coastal city as it gets flooded when heavy rains combine with high tides. In such situations,the floodgates can be closed so that sea water can be prevented from entering drains and flooding the city.
The Haji Ali project is being constructed at a cost of Rs 58 crore over 4000 hectares. It is aimed at reducing the flooding of areas such as Nanachowk,Slater Road,Tardeo Road and part of Peddar Road. The pumping stations,if and when completed,will house six sets of pumps with a total capacity of 36 cubic metres per second.
The Irlah pumping station,being constructed at Rs 77 crore,is for areas such as Milan Subway,Andheri (East) and Santacruz (West). At high tide during the monsoons,the floodgates would open and water from the Irla and Abhishek nullahs would be thrown to the beach through inlet channels. The pumping station will have eight sets of pumps with a total capacity of 48 cubic metres per second.
Juhu corporator Adolf DSouza said after so long a delay in the project,he has already told residents of the area to prepare for the monsoon without depending on the BMC or any politician. Although we were told the pumping station will be ready this monsoon,I had my doubts. People of Juhu suffer the worst during high tide due to Irla nullah and it would have been a major respite had the work been completed.
Apart from these two pumping stations,the civic administration is yet to begin work on the Cleveland Bunder station (seven sets of pumps with a capacity of 42 cubic metres per second) at Senapati Bapat Marg in Dadar and Lovegrove pumping station (10 pumps to pump 60 cubic metres ) at Worli as both sites are encroached on. Only after these four pumping stations will work begin on the remaining four: Britannia,Mogara,Mahul and Guzderband.
Cleaning drains,monitoring dilapidated buildings,says strengthening disaster management communication system. Insists that two pumping stations,at Haji Ali and Irla in Vile Parle,will be ready in the middle of the monsoon season
Have listed the equipment they want to buy:
* 42 strolling message boards to be mounted on police vehicles
* 300 LED batons to warn motorists
* An extra rope gun for rescue work
* Searchlights with a focus of 1 km
* Specialised toolkits
* 500 reflective jackets
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