MMRCL contractor illegally discharging construction waste into major nullah: BMC

Laxman Singh
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The notice, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, states that the site contractor, appointed by the MMRCL, was found “throwing cement slurry in the major nullah.”

A notice was issued to the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) on Saturday for alleged illegal discharge of construction waste into the suburban stormwater drain network, by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), asking the agency to restore and clean a clogged nullah near the proposed Sahar Metro station in Andheri (East).

The civic body has stated that the illegal discharge of slurry can cause unusual flooding in the region during the monsoon. The station has been planned as part of the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz line (Metro 3).

The notice, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, states that the site contractor, appointed by the MMRCL, was found “throwing cement slurry in the major nullah.” A cement slurry is a semi-liquid mixture comprising fine cement particles, water and different chemical additives, which can lead to clogging.

Issued by K East (Andheri East) ward’s Assistant Municipal Commissioner Prashant Sapkale, the notice further states, “During a site inspection, it is observed that the contractor is illegally dewatering slurry into major P&T nullah along Sahar Road. This has led to accumulation of a large quantity of silt in major nullahs along the road. This is a serious concern. Also, you have not obtained any permission for dewatering.”

While directing the MMRCL to take immediate measures to stop the illegal discharge and clean the nullah, the BMC has also warned of action against the agency and the contractor if this is not done. The local ward office has already intimated senior BMC officials of the stormwater drain (SWD) department, asking them to look into the matter.

“This deposition of slurry into the nullah could lead to waterlogging during the monsoon. This can lead to flooding in nearby areas in Sahar since the water carrying capacity of the drains will reduce,” an official said.

The BMC action comes after a complaint was lodged by city-based NGO, Watchdog Foundation, which had alleged that the Metro work near the proposed station was causing air pollution and had led to the nullah filling up.

“The Metro 3 construction activity emanates dust particles in a large quantity, thereby creating air pollution in the vicinity of the Sahar Metro station. Recently, we had protested along with local residents around the proposed station. The cement sludge has played havoc with the health of local residents,” said Godfrey Pimenta, one of the trustees of the NGO.

“The discharge of slurry has filled the nullah; this could cause flooding in nearby areas during the monsoon,” he added.

Despite several phone calls and text messages, there was no response from the MMRCL.

This is not the first time that the BMC has taken action against the MMRCL for illegal discharge of construction waste into the city’s SWD network. Earlier in 2018, it had issued a notice to the agency for clogging another drain. It has also blamed the MMRCL for excessive waterlogging in South Mumbai areas such as Cuffe Parade, Vidhan Bhavan and Churchgate in 2018.