MUMBAI: Administration spent billions of rupees, since 1985, to improve drainage system of Mumbai, to save the city from the floods. But, yesterday’s flood indicated that large amount of this money has gone into drains. It is said that Mumbai’s storm water drainage system was laid by British rulers .Now, most of this system is more than 100 years old. In the deluge of 1985, it was felt that this old system needs, to be replaced .A plan worth Rs. 6 billion was also made in 1985, and it was called as Brihan Mumbai Storm Water Disposal System (BRIMS TOWAD).
Our planning and execution is very pathetic, which is evident by the history of BRIMS TOWAD project .Such an important project, which came into existence in 1985, has not been fully implemented in the last 32 years .What more one can comment on the efficiency of government and administration, that during this period at least 2 severe floods crippled the city.
The BRIM TOWAD plan was prepared by Watson Hawkley , as consultant designer .Although initial cost of this project was estimated to be Rs. 6 billion and till 1998 , only Rs. 1.43 billion was spent on this project . During these 13 years, the plan moved on, in a very slow pace.
Then in July 2005, Mumbai faced another fury of nature. The city was, nearly devastated by floods, rendering a huge loss of life and properties. The government again stressed over the need to implement this plan. But cost of the project in 2005 escalated to Rs.12 billion.
Yesterday’s rains made mockery of administration again , as 344 mm rain fall in a day crippled not only the city , but also failed the city administration miserably .It seems that no lesson was learnt from the floods of 2005, and no genuine efforts had been done to save city from torrential rain.
It is said that city has 480 km long closed drains , and 29000 storm water drains , which discharge water and sewerage into out falls , though various pumping stations .The city also has 2000 km of open drains , 186 out falls and more than 30000 water entrances.
For the last 3 decades, municipal administration is saying that these sewerage and drainage system has proved inefficient during torrential rains, but no sincere results are seen even after spending billions of Rupees on this BRIM TOWAD project since 1985. Are these money going down the drains, Mumbaikars have right to ask.
Mumbaikars appreciated good work done by Police ,Fire Brigade ,BMC staff , BEST workers , Railway staff as well as citizens of this city who came out to help lakhs of stranded persons .But those, who are responsible for the planning and administration of such plans like BRIM TOWAD , launched 32 years ago , to save the city from floods must be answerable .They must explain, why after spending billions of rupees , city is still choked and crippled against a day of 344 mm rains.