EVEN AS Vasai-Virar limps back to normalcy days after heavy rains wrecked havoc, the Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC) on Saturday demolished a temporary embankment at Rajavali in Vasai (E), as it was allegedly choking a major drainage line that obstructed the flow of water from the town into the Bhayander creek. After Vasai recorded the state’s highest rainfall (299 m) on Tuesday, heavy waterlogging was observed in certain parts of Vasai and Virar. Nearly four days after water receded from these areas, the corporation claimed it demolished the bridge to ease the flow of water.
“We were looking for obstacles that blocked the flow of water in the region. In lieu of a proper bridge getting constructed by the PWD, a temporary bridge was built underneath for people to move to the other side. This 35-m long bridge made of iron obstructed the water flow from major areas of the town into the Bhayander creek,” said Satish Lokhande, VVCMC Municipal Commissioner.
While the bridge has been there for years, Lokhande said it was identified as an obstruction after the region received heavy rains. “Though it cannot be classified as the only source of obstruction to the natural water flow, it may be one of the reasons. There was growth of mangrove in major nullahs but cannot cut these without due permission.”
Since Wednesday, the corporation had removed 780 tonne of garbage from Vasai and Virar as opposed to 620 tonne removed daily on an average. “We have cleaned water tanks of 218 housing societies on Saturday. Roughly 38 sq km from a total of 308 sq km area was under water. At least 3,000 employees worked to clean water tanks, check on the health of residents and clean muck,” Lokhande said.
Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited officials said power connections were restored in the area by Saturday. However, some streetlights are yet to start functioning. “Almost 95 per cent of the affected houses are getting the required water supply and work is on to restore the supply for others,” said Lokhande.
After heavy rains in the area, train services were suspended between Nallasopara and Virar stations due to waterlogging on tracks. While building extra culverts, the Western Railway and the corporation have also decided to now remove covers from the culverts that were blocked to allow easy flow of water from the tracks at Nallasopara station.