Mumbai Buzz: Pothole menace | Water situation in city | New BEST buses.. and more

Weekly news recap: Pothole complaints galore in Western suburbs; New BEST buses for Mumbai office-goers; PIL filed to protect Aarey Colony

Maximum pothole complaints reported from Western suburbs

Data from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), a day after a couple lost their lives to a pothole accident, at a carriageway flyover on the WEH opposite the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), showed that nearly 48% of total pothole-related complaints have been raised from Mumbai’s western suburbs in 2022.

“The WEH is being maintained by MSRDC and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). The WEH along with the adjoining service road is infamous for potholes, however, it’s not BMC’s responsibility to maintain them. Whenever we receive any complaint we forward it to the responsible agencies,” said Nivrutti Gondhali, assistant municipal commissioner.

Read more: Are Mumbai’s roads prepared for the monsoons?

1,135 pothole-related complaints have been raised between April 1, 2022, and August 18, 2022 (10:30 am) on the BMCs Pothole Fixit application. 48% are reported from the western suburbs.

Source: Hindustan Times

BEST launches dedicated buses for office-goers; unveils AC double-deckers

To bring some respite for commuters during rush hours, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has launched premium bus services for office-goers. This is India’s first such initiative by a state transport corporation.

Source: Hindustan Times

Read more: New BEST museum showcases Mumbai’s past and future

“I have fond childhood memories of travelling in a BEST double-decker bus and sitting on the front in the upper deck. I am glad that BEST has increased their fleet and understands the need of the hour to be energy efficient and provide comfortable travel to passengers,” said union road and transport minister Nitin Gadkari at the inaugural event.

City group seeks Conservation Reserve tag for Aarey Colony

A city-based NGO has filed a public interest litigation (PIL), expected to be listed before the Bombay High Court soon, to bring all of Aarey Colony under the purview of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972) by declaring it as a Conservation Reserve. 

Conservation Reserves are legally protected areas which act as buffer zones or migratory corridors between two ecologically separated wildlife habitats, to avoid fragmentation. They can be declared by the state government under Section 36-A of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA).

Read more: The story of Aarey forest under three governments

The petitioner has insisted that the state has failed to perform their duties “by not raising objections to the proposed projects in Aarey” over the years, which include the Metro-3 car shed, the Metro Bhavan building, and slum rehabilitation housing and a proposed zoo.

Source: Hindustan Times

Water cuts a possibility despite lakes full to the brim

Due to continuous rainfall in the city, lakes are filled up to the brim. But despite being the largest mid-August water stock in a few years, 96% exactly, it does not guarantee water supply. 

The seven lakes that supply water to the city can store 14.47 lakh million litres (ML). They provide 4,200 ML of water daily and at the end of the monsoon (September 30), if the stock is around 100 per cent, it is sufficient for the next 10 months, i.e. till the end of next July, considering evaporation.

In 2022, five gates of the Bhatsa dam – the largest dam, which accounts for 50 per cent of the overall capacity of all lakes – have been opened while the Tansa dam overflowed twice. 

“If the lakes are full at the end of September, the stock is enough till next June. But if September has no rainfall and the current stock decreases, there may be an issue. If the stock drops to 90%, a cut is required so that supply lasts until the next monsoon,” said Purushottam Malvade, chief of the hydraulic department of the BMC.

Source: Mid-day

view of a river in Mumbai with fishing boats
Despite heavy rainfall this past month filling up water bodies in Mumbai, water cuts persist. Pic: Senorhorst Jahnsen, Flickr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

City crosses 2000 mm rainfall mark for the season

Due to the formation of a low-pressure area over the north Bay of Bengal, Mumbaikars experienced heavy rainfall in isolated areas on August 16th. 

The low-pressure area, which formed on August 13th, moved inland and reached Rajasthan on August 16th. As a result, an offshore monsoon running from south Gujarat to north Maharashtra was strengthened, causing fast-moving, moisture-bearing westerly winds to deposit rain over Mumbai and surrounding districts, including Raigad, Thane and Palghar.

Some parts of the city saw heavier rainfall than others. Kandivali witnessed 88 mm of rain in the same time period, while Borivali saw 70 mm of rain. South Mumbai saw less heavy weather activity, with the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) observatory in Colaba recording just 23.4mm of rain on Tuesday.

Source: Hindustan Times

[Compiled by Saachi D’Souza]

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