MUMBAI: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC has been forced to push the deadline for completing the nullah desilting work by almost a week owing to a delay in approving the contracts, according to officials. Now, the work will not be completed before June 5 instead of the earlier deadline of May 31.
Anticipating a better monsoon and also keen on providing a flood- free monsoon to citizens, the civic body undertook various administrative and technical measures including the desilting of nullahs. However, similar to last year, the administration has now pushed the deadline by a week to complete the ongoing desilting of major and minor nullahs.
The new deadline of June 5 will be a cause of concern if the monsoon arrives early and the civic body is unable to transport the removed silt in time which will cause waterlogging in the city. At present, the silt from minor and roadside nullahs is dumped at eight locations, whereas contractors have identified nine locations to dump silt from major nullahs.
Experts have expressed concerns about the delay and the quality of work being carried out by the civic body. “Every year they keep pushing the deadlines but there is hardly any check on the quality of the work completed. This year, the work is slightly better as compared to last year but I don’t see it to be ready for monsoons. Senior officials need to check if the work is done thoroughly or not,” said James John, member, action for good governance.
The BMC claims to have finished 80% of desilting work. The civic officials blame the delayed approval of contracts for pushing the deadline. “Some proposals of were only passed on April 20 by the standing committee following which we only had one month’s time to complete the work” said a senior civic official.
Moreover, civic chief Ajoy Mehta had last week asked for the work to be completed in time. After getting flak for the desilting work by civic contractors last year, the BMC said it is removing 8,340 metric tonnes of silt from major, minor and roadside drains every day as part of the pre-monsoon preparation.