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Malabar Hill Reservoir: Bmc Opted For Reconstruction On Expert Advice | Mumbai News – Times of India



MUMBAI: The BMC had initially considered a phased approach for reconstruction of the 147 ML Malabar Hill reservoir, a century-old structure, and a tender was floated accordingly. However, earlier this year, the contractor Skywalk Infrastructure appointed for the reconstruction project sought the opinion of structural consultant Dr Shashank Mehandale and associates, who recommended a complete reconstruction instead.
Their report highlighted concerns about potential damage to the reservoir’s waterproofing during the phased programme, emphasizing the risk of water loss and rendering portions or the entire reservoir unusable. Consequently, it has been suggested that the entire reservoir should be reconstructed in a single comprehensive effort. This critical recommendation comes as the BMC faces the challenge of addressing the contentious issues surrounding the Malabar Hill reservoir reconstruction. The report’s details have been accessed by TOI.
The report also points to the fact that the study of the history of the reservoir indicates that after its construction (in 1887), it had severe leakage issues and the amount spent on waterproofing was significant. Initially, asphalt lining was done. Even that resulted in losses of 2 MLD, thus major work of guniting/shotcreting was taken up in 1937.
“This indicates the nature of the reservoir where masonry walls are mainly the retention walls and need an explicit waterproofing layer to hold/retain water. This waterproofing membrane, be it asphalt or gunite, is relatively very thin and susceptible to cracks and can fail even with the slightest of movement or vibrations imparted to it. Thus carrying out major disconnection and demolition of contiguous masonry structure, excavation by breaking/cutting rock in close proximity of reservoir foundation envisaged in proposed phase programme can damage the waterproofing of the reservoir, and may in turn cause leakages,” states the report, adding that it may be prudent to take up the entire reservoir in one go and that accidental profuse leakages may also trigger landslides and/or flash flooding in low-lying areas.
While the report does not mention that the reservoir is structurally unstable and cannot be repaired, it points towards creation of a new required minimum capacity permanent reservoir at a suitable alternate location.
We also published the following articles recently

Ukai dam nears full reservoir level
The water level at Ukai dam in Surat, Gujarat, is just one foot away from its full reservoir level. The dam currently has a storage of 97% of its total capacity and has additional space to store more water. The inflow of water is expected to decrease due to reduced water release from Hatnur. Meanwhile, several other dams in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Nashik have been opened due to heavy rainfall. In Pune district, dams have received good rainfall, resulting in the discharge of water from three reservoirs.
Film actor Juhi Chawla attends BMC meet in Mumbai over cutting, transplanting 389 trees for Malabar Hill Reservoir
A group of citizens in Mumbai gathered to protest against the plan to cut and transplant trees in order to reconstruct the Malabar Hill Reservoir, which is located beneath the iconic Hanging Gardens. The residents demanded that the plan be scrapped and that the Hanging Gardens be left untouched. Film actor Juhi Chawla also attended the meeting and requested alternative solutions. The meeting concluded with the decision to form a working group of citizens to work with the BMC and suggest alternate sites for the reservoir.
Alternative reservoir wont be at Shantivan Garden: Lodha
Mangal Prabhat Lodha, cabinet minister and local MLA, announced that the alternative reservoir will not be built at Shantivan Garden. He has requested the BMC to look for other sites, including the space reclaimed for the Mumbai Coastal Road project. Residents have suggested repairing the existing water tank and a working group will be formed to find alternate sites. Concerns have been raised about the cutting down of trees and the impact on the hill’s soil.



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