Friday, May 9, 2008

Mahim Bay

Mahim Bay is a large bay which is part of the Arabian Sea. The southern end is Worli , northern end is Bandra Reclaimation and Mahim is in the centre. The bay was formed after the islands of Mahim and Selsette were merged in the early 19th century. The Mithi river drains into Mahim Creek which drains into the Bay, and forms the border between the city and its suburbs.

Mahim Fort-Castella de Aguada
During the colonial era, the Portuguese built a watch tower called Castella de Aguada on the northern side. Later, the British built the Worli Fort to the south and Mahim Fort near the creek to defend the Seven Islands of Bombay against attacks by the Portuguese and the Marathas.
The bay holds a small indigenous fishing population known as the Kolis. A large scale infrastructural project, the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, aims to link the two ends of the bay by a flyover bridge to reduce commuting time between the suburbs and the city. During the monsoon season the sea waves hit against the walls and sometimes also enters the small byelanes. The bay is highly polluted due to the drainage of the polluted Mithi river into it. Mahim bay shifts according to the tide; during high tide, water rushes to the Bandra side and during low tide, the Worli side is full of water. Recently tar deposits have been found in the bay. The bay is highly unsafe for swimming or ganapathi imersion. The flooding situation is growing worse. Approximately the sea floods the area once a week. It reaches up to the walls of Bombay scottish School. The school authorities are advised to shut their sea facing gates to ensure safety of the children.The citizens living on the sea facing side of the caddel road have been warned repeatedly of building checkwalls to prevent loss of lives and destruction of any movable or immovable property. The students of Bombay Scottish School are also repeatedly told not to go on the beach for safety reasons. The enviornmentalists in that area have said that the bay has come ahed nearly by 100 metres. This bay is a cause of concern for the local bodies. It is predicted that the waves will nearly submerge Shivaji Park if their arrival to the shore is so fast. The land at the bay has sunk by 2 mms due to the rampant erosion caused by the ferocious sea. This will play a deciding role in the safety of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link only time can tell.