Metro work: waterlogging in never-flooded areas, says BMC

Apprehensions about ongoing Metro Railway work causing waterlogging have come true, with several areas in South Mumbai reporting flooding over the past few days. Areas affected include Hutatma Smarak, Churchgate and Cuffe Parade. Despite irregularities in Metro 3 work being pointed out by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to the contractor on June 29, there has been little compliance.

The BMC’s automatic weather stations reported 187mm of rainfall till 3 p.m. in Fort — the most on Sunday in the city and its suburbs. Before the monsoon, civic authorities had identified 45 locations where drains including storm water ones and manholes were damaged by Metro work, including Hutatma Smarak.

No compliance

All this, clearly, has borne little fruit: many parts of A ward, which have never been flooded before, reported waterlogging on Sunday. Prominent among them were Free Press Journal Marg, outside Taj Vivanta, near Sarang building and Vidhan Bhavan and on P D’Mello Road. Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner (A ward), BMC, said, “These are areas that have never known to get flooded in the past. We hope concerned authorities take necessary action.”

On June 29, Mr. Dighavkar had written to Metro 3 contractor L&T-STEC, pointing out irregularities. The letter listed five spots: two at Cuffe Parade and one each at Vidhan Bhavan, Churchgate and Hutatma Chowk, where there is a shortage of dewatering pumps. For example, in Cuffe Parade, 16 pumps are needed, but only four have been installed. It also said contractors are using cement slurry without authorisation in stormwater drains, despite reminders and without installing a sedimentation tank.

Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, who visited Hutatma Smarak, said Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (MMRCL) has been instructed to not disrupt stormwater drains. He said, “There was six to eight inches of water at Hutatma Smarak and on P D’Mello Road. There was heavy concentration of rain in certain pockets today. We have instructed concerned authorities to ensure muddy water doesn’t enter our stormwater drains, and to repair those affected.” He has also asked civic officials to work with Metro authorities and hold joint inspections.

An MMRCL spokesperson said, “There is no flooding in Package 1 (Cuffe Parade to Hutatma Chowk) of Metro Line 3 so far. MMRCL is implementing the monsoon preparedness plan in all packages.”

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