The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) in Mumbai has compiled a preliminary report on the Vasai Virar floods this monsoon, suggesting short-term and long-term measures to avoid similar inundation of urban areas in the region in future. The report pegs the cost of the entire exercise for mitigation measures at Rs 12 crore.
In the month of July, the cities of Vasai, Virar and Nallasopara had faced floods after incessant rains and blocked rainwater drains. The Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC) had roped in the IIT and NEERI to understand what caused the floods and what measures should be introduced to avoid a similar situation. The municipal authorities had also conducted several public hearings, a report on which is still to be compiled. “We had taken insights from residents. Our engineers are working on assessing their responses after which it will be compiled,” said Ramesh Lad, executive engineer of the VVCMC.
The NEERI report suggests that other than doing in-depth research regarding the condition of the floodplains around the townships, mitigating steps need to be taken within six months to ensure that in the future flood-like situations are averted.
The report lists measures to ensure that natural drains are cleared at least four times a year and especially before the monsoon. The experts have said that the VVCMC needs to rectify the major drains in spots where water stagnates and bottlenecks to water flow are formed. Additional culverts need to be provided below railway lines and national highways too, the report states.
The experts have also suggested that a special coordination committee of all government bodies including the VVCMC, NHAI, MMRDA, Western Railway, forest department and maritime board be formed, which should meet at least four times a year. “This committee should meet at least four times a year to discuss its projects with respect to flood mitigation works in their respective departments,” the report states.
The report has been submitted to the VVCMC. “We are going to discuss the report in a general body meeting and then decide the course of action,” said Lad.