Mumbai might face waterlogging as desilting of Mithi river remains incomplete

Mumbai might face waterlogging as desilting of Mithi river remains incomplete

With less than three weeks to go for the May 31 deadline for pre-monsoon work, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seems to be struggling to complete the work. One of the reasons behind waterlogging in the city is the silt in the Mithi river, and therefore, every year, the civic body conducts desilting of the river before the monsoon.

However, Mumbai might have to witness waterlogged streets this year as the desilting of the Mithi river is just 29 per cent complete. BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal did a complete review of the situation and it is through that he found that the cleaning work in the river and other major nullahs in the city was behind schedule. Commissioner Chahal asked for more machinery and manpower to be deployed to ensure the work is finished by the May 31 deadline. On Monday, Chahal had reached Mahim causeway and later visited the area near American School at BKC to monitor the progress of cleaning work.

The officials alleged due to the lockdown, there has been a shortage of labourers, and given that the work has to be completed keeping physical distancing in mind, the work is happening at a snail's pace. 

While the work is not going as per the schedule, BMC is still confident of finishing the same on time. A BMC official told The Indian Express, “After checking the progress of work, the commissioner directed municipal staff to ensure that cleaning work is completed on time so that the city doesn’t witness floods in the monsoon. He was satisfied with the work at Mithi.”

Every year, the civic body is supposed to clear silt our of the 21-km Mithi river before the onset of monsoon. About 20 km of the river flows from Powai and joins the Arabian Sea near Mahim causeway. The BMC is supposed to remove 98,500 metric tonnes of silt from the river but this year, it has only managed to clear 26,118 metric tonnes so far.

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