The Vasai Virar area received over 972 mm of rainfall over the last four days, the municipal authorities said on Tuesday. Despite the figure being over 100 mm more than what was witnessed during the flooding last year, the region has managed to stay afloat, the authorities claimed. However, residents of the low-lying regions of Nallasopara, Vasai and Virar faced severe waterlogging, with water even entering some houses.
After the heavy rain of Monday night, in which Pelhar region received 197 mm and Navghar region received 384 mm of rainfall, the residents of Nallasopara and Tulinj faced severe waterlogging with water entering their houses. “I had to wade through knee deep water just to get to the station in the morning. Though rain has stopped, water is not receding,” Deepak Khairnar, a resident of Tulinj, said. “Despite their being so much talk about deepening of nullahs, nothing seems to have worked here.”
The Vasai Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC) said the situation might have been worse had it not been for their efforts.
“The areas in Virar (West) and Nallasopara are traditionally low-lying regions where there is waterlogging. With such amount of rain, the water level in these areas would have been much higher if we had not cleared the nullahs. Now, even if we are receiving over 900 mm of rain, the water is slowly receding,” Commissioner Baliram Pawar said. Chief Engineer R Lad added, “We have followed all short-term suggestions made by the NEERI-IIT team after last year’s rain… We focused more on cleaning the existing nullahs and desilting them.”
Vasai resident and Shiv Sena leader Milind Chavhan disagreed. “If even after 12 hours of no rainfall, water is not receding from parts of Ambadi Road in Vasai, and entering buildings, how can they say that the nullahs were cleaned? In fact, the main cause of last year’s flood was the bridge in Rajawali creek. Despite all the hue and cry, this time as well, debris are blocking the creek,” he said.
He added, “None of the guidelines given by the IIT-NEERI team was taken into account, and thus we are at the brink of experiencing floods again.”
However, Pawar said: “I have asked the specific departments to take immediate action, and due to this, we have managed to avoid floods till now. How can the creek be blocked when I have myself traversed its entire length in a boat? We are managing as well as we can, and yes there are a few trouble spots that need a long term solution. Our electricity has been restored and all four water supply pumps are working. If there is no unforeseen situation, we might pass the rains peacefully.”
The municipal officials have been asked to report every morning at 9 am. The residents can also directly video call the commissioner and bring forth their complaints