First time in 40 years, Gandhi Market yet to be inundated this monsoon

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Gandhi Market near Matunga, a low-lying area that has never escaped flooding during monsoon for the last four decades, is yet to be inundated this season.
As many as 289 traders of the wholesale clothing market breathed a sigh of relief last week when flood water did not gush inside their shops as heavy rainfall lashed the city.
What helped Gandhi Market stay afloat was a mini pumping station with a capacity to pump out 2.33 lakh litre of flood water per minute.
Constructed at Rs 19 core, the mini pumping station includes a pit, a stormwater drain line that carries the flood water from the market and the main arterial road up to the Bharat Nagar railway nullah near King Circle, which further carries it to the sea. Floodgates constructed at the nullah mouth this year ensured that the high tide water did not enter the drain during heavy rain.
Gandhi Market is located on Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, an arterial road connecting eastern suburbs to the island city, which sees heavy traffic.
Kanchan Setpal, who has been running Satyam Ladies Fabric for 28 years, recounts how all shopkeepers would put up all products in the loft by May to avoid damage by rainwater. “This year, the flood water did not enter the shops. The pumping station is a success. Some years ago, I had to open my shop standing in knee-deep water.”
Every monsoon, high-capacity dewatering pumps are installed at Gandhi Market to drain out excess rainwater. Earlier, water used to recede in three-four hours, but on June 9, last year, it took almost eight hours for the water to recede.
The BMC said that the mini pumping station will be managed by the contractor for the next four years.
P Velrasu, additional municipal commissioner, said, the project is not yet over. “We are yet to observe the situation on the ground, as we plan to further improvise on the system. We aimed to see that traffic in the area does not come to a stop or has to be diverted on heavy rain days and that has been achieved.”
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