107 road repairs, desilting work incomplete | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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107 road repairs, desilting work incomplete

With the monsoon expected to arrive in less than a month, how well is Mumbai prepared? The BMC is yet to finish cleaning storm water drains and repairing many roads, yet has renewed its annual promise of a flood-free monsoon.

mumbai Updated: May 21, 2016 00:24 IST
HT Correspondent

With the monsoon expected to arrive in less than a month, how well is Mumbai prepared? The BMC is yet to finish cleaning storm water drains and repairing many roads, yet has renewed its annual promise of a flood-free monsoon.

With the deadline for completing pre-monsoon work just 10 days away, the BMC claims to have removed 1,14,569 metric tonnes of silt from major and minor storm water drains. Its target is to remove 1,88,230 metric tonnes of silt from 262.39 km of storm water drains.

Meanwhile, 107 roads currently being rebuilt or repaired need to be opened to traffic by May 31. Another 752 road repairs will be taken up only after the rains. Despite the mammoth task it faces, the civic body claims the city will be ready for the rains.

The BMC began desilting work at major nullahs after April 15. However, concerns remain about the transportation of silt and many fear a repeat of last year’s desilting controversy, in which the civic body registered several complaints after silt extracted from nullahs was dumped on roadsides, rendering the work useless. After failing to attract bidders to desilt minor drains this year because of last year’s controversy, the BMC put the responsibility of cleaning them on its 24 administrative wards. Ward officials have so far managed to complete 35% of desilting work on these drains.

After increasing the number areas it considers chronic flooding spots from 55 to 66 last year, the BMC has this year reduced their number from 66 to 40. Of these 40 spots, civic body has identified three as especially vulnerable – Hindmata, Sion and Nair Hospital gate.

“Desilting nullahs is a continuous process and we expect help from citizens to keep them clean. We will manage to complete the work by May 31,” said Sanjay Deshmukh, additional municipal commissioner, BMC.

“Why does the BMC only carry out desilting before monsoon and not throughout the year? If this had been done, the situation would have been much better ahead of the monsoon,” said Vidya Vaidya, member of H-west ward federation.