Thursday, April 05, 2007

A river runs through it

Kiran has been kind enough to share these photos of the development work going on around the Mithi River. These are all in and around the Saki Naka area, Andheri East.

The first two photos (right-hand and left-hand view from the road) are of the construction work (is that a raft there?), probably road-widening work, near the River (notice the green leaves, I'm guessing the river flows below it).

Another photo of the road extension, which can be seen a bit more clearer now. This is taken from the other side of the same Andheri Kurla Road (between Ghatkopar and Andheri). Notice the green growth there as well.

Finally in this photo below, you can see a bit of the river. As Kiran (via e-mail) points out, "its almost a bottleneck formed due to a land formation coming in from the left side".

This reminds me of urban planner Chandrashekhar Prabhu's reply to our question (as part of the Haftamag interview with him), on the Mithi River development work post 26/7.

1. It's almost a year after the 26/7 floods in Mumbai. How has the state progressed on cleaning up the Mithi River?

Other than paltry beautification scheme of cleaning up the Mithi River, we have not moved much. The Mithi is as dirty as it used to be and the State has lost Rs. 600crores. The Government's efforts are all cosmetic dabs at addressing the problem.

We need to understand the concept of a river delta. A delta is where the river splits into tributaries and covers huge tracts of land in these tributaries. The land between these tributaries acts as a sponge and in technical terms, these lands are dissipation spaces. Any low-lying river would have these dissipation spaces as bases, which hold the water during high tide and heavy rains.

The basic law in any urban development procedure is that these dissipation spaces should not be tampered with. When ever there is a water body coming down from the hills, especially in undulated land, and meeting the sea, vacant space has to be given to the water body.

In our case, the entire Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) has been planned exactly in this dissipation space. What has happened is that 300-400 acres of land which was part of the dissipation space was taken over and filled up by the stroke of a pen. No amount of dredging would compensate for that.

(full interview here)