Hills from the other side of Kharghar are still being subjected to deforestation due to which the flow of rainwater is increasing from the slopes.
Mumbai: Kharghar in Navi Mumbai experienced a rare instance of flooding due to incessant rains Monday. Persistent rain accompanied by overflowing of the nearby Kopra river during the morning hours led to prolonged traffic congestion Monday.
However activists blamed projects like the Navi Mumbai airport for clogging the natural drainage ecosystem, thereby preventing percolation of excess rainwater.
Environmental activists said that though the area had earlier experienced waterlogging during the monsoon, this was the first time when the flood situation worsened near the Sion-Panvel highway at Kharghar, submerging the area in knee-deep waters.
“Huge spaces of wetland have been reclaimed for the construction of Navi Mumbai airport. The creek has been the water-holding area during the monsoon, which was clogged this time. These areas have been reclaimed up to 8 metres of landfill. It is around 1,615 hectares of land we are dealing with," said Nandakumar Pawar, who works for wetland conservation.
Apart from landfill activities, rampant quarrying in the hills of Kharghar and adjacent areas had led to rainwater gushing from the higher slopes onto roads.
"Hills from the other side of Kharghar are still being subjected to deforestation due to which the flow of rainwater is increasing from the slopes. The Ulwe river’s natural course has been diverted to a manmade channel which isn’t able to bear the brunt of the flooding waters," said B.N. Kumar, director of NGO, Nature Connect.
Meanwhile, CIDCO, the government-owned city developer, blamed heavy rainfall since Sunday midnight for the flooding.