Mumbai: Sion’s Gandhi Market to get Underground Chamber to Avoid Flooding

Mumbai: Sion’s Gandhi Market to get Underground Chamber to Avoid Flooding

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is currently planning the construction of an underground inlet chamber to store excess rainwater near Sion’s Gandhi Market. This is a preemptive measure to reduce the chances of flooding in this low-lying region. The excess rainwater stored in the chamber will subsequently be pumped out using a stormwater drain (SWD) line at a nearby nullah.

This project is expected to cost ₹14 crores and has been approved by the civic standing committee on February 8. Officials from the department said that work on the project will begin soon and conclude prior to the city’s monsoon spell. 

The civic body currently relies on dewatering pumps at Gandhi Market to remove the excess rainwater. Officials said that while it usually takes up to three to four hours for the water levels to recede, the process took almost eight hours during the monsoons last year. 

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that this plan will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will involve the construction of culverts and chambers along with a 900mm capacity SWD line to carry the excess rainwater until the Bharat Nagar Railway nullah near King Circle.

Workers will construct the floodgates at the nullah as part of the second phase. This is to make sure the water from high-tides cannot flow into the city when it’s raining heavily in the region. 

A similar plan has been completed in the Kalanagar area of Bandra. Here, officials built inlet drains with pumps inside, offering the capacity to pump out 49,800 litres of water per minute. Additionally, the civic body constructed six floodgates at nearby outfalls to effectively drain the water back into the sea.

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Despite the civic body’s somewhat ambitious plan with Gandhi Market, some civic corporators have raised objections. 

Corporator from Sion, Rajeshshree Shirwadkar questioned, “If there is a plan to lay such a large SWD line, what if there is an obstruction?” adding that she has sought a detailed presentation from the SWD department before works begin.

Fellow corporator from Sion (F-North), Ravi Raja agreed with the notion. “Large sums of money are being spent, but there is no guarantee on whether it would help in resolving the flooding issue.”

To dispel these concerns, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of the F-North ward, Gajanan Bellale has said that a meeting with SWD officials is expected to take place before construction work begins at the region. 

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