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Anarchic development blamed for Mumbai floods


ENGINEERS IN Mumbai this week blamed unplanned development for worsening floods caused by exceptionally heavy monsoon rains.

Developers are understood to have built over streams and rivers without making provision for drainage.

'The city has expanded at a tremendous pace and the planning is not as it should have been, ' said Mital Shah, head of Jacobs Babtie's Mumbai office.

'Developers have lobbied hard to build up residential and commercial developments in the north of the city and there is a lack of open spaces.' 'The fact is Mumbai does have a development plan, but it is not as scientifi c as it should be and it can be fiddled, ' he said.

Rubble from construction projects is also often dumped in flood channels, forcing water into the streets.

Floods in the Indian city have killed at least 1,000 and left a further 1,000 temporarily homeless.

More than 20M people have been affected by the rains, which have been continuous for a week.

Meteorologists are still forecasting heavy rain and strong winds in the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital.

The downpours began on 23 July. On Tuesday 26 July Mumbai received more than 650mm of rain - the heaviest recorded in India's history. This wreaked havoc in a city known for its inadequate infrastructure.

'The main problem is that some of the highly flooded areas are where no proper hydrographic studies were done, ' said Jagdish Raje, director of Pell Frischmann's Indian subsidiary Frischmann Brabhu.

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