To keep stringent check on contractors appointed for desilting nullahs and for disposing the extracted silt at the designated sites, the civic body has introduced a vehicle-tracking system for the vehicles being used by contractors to transport the silt.
This year the silt removed from nullahs is being dumped at numerous private plots arranged by the contractors.
Until last year, the silt was dumped at the city’s designated dumping grounds in Deonar and Mulund and a plot allotted by the collector at Aksa, which have been exploited beyond their capacity.
Therefore, the civic body slipped in the use of the tracking system in the tender conditions while inviting bids for nullah desilting work this year, making it mandatory for contractors to use it.
Over 50 plots have been earmarked by contractors for disposal of silt, with most located outside the city limits and some as far as 50km from the city. Therefore the challenge this year is to ensure contractors do not deviate from their routes and cut corners while transporting to the demarcated plots.
“The vehicle-tracking system was introduced to keep a stricter watch on transportation of silt. It will ensure no deviation of routes by the contractors’ vehicles,” said Laxman Vhatkar, chief engineer, department of storm water drains, BMC.
Civic officials said if the contractors fail to install or operate this system, they will not be paid.
“Such a system was not necessary until now as the CCTV cameras installed at the dumping grounds would help record the quantity of silt offloaded,” said an official from the storm water drains department.
On the flip side, nullah desilting work is moving slowly as only 33% of work has been completed till May 15, against the target of 40%.
The civic body has thus extended its self-set deadline of completing the work from May 31 to June 6.