Waterlogging menace, BMC to replace British-era dhapas

Mumbai: It’s time to take up Herculean task, as the BMC will soon replace and widen the British era closed pipe drains named dhapas. The Rs24-crore project will focus on flood-prone areas.

The BMC issued tenders on Friday to overhaul dhapa drains and reconstruct nullahs in Zone II of the city, which comprises Byculla, Mumbai Central, Chinchpokli, Elphinstone, Mahalaxmi, Worli, and Lower Parel.The BMC has finalized a contractor and proposed to replace the dhapas.

The BMC will have to dig several patches of roads, six to eight metres below the ground. This is likely to inconvenience motorists. An official from the storm water drains (SWD) department said, “We do not have an underground map of the drains. But we are mapping roads in flood-prone areas where dhapa drains can be repaired or replaced.”

In 2009, two consecutive accidents happened on Peddar road, where the surface of the road caved in after an underground dhapa drain collapsed. Following this, a survey of underground British-era drains was conducted in the Peddar road area which revealed an extensive SWD system, most of which was dilapidated.