Irked with the ‘defunct’ state of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) environment department, corporators from all parties slammed the administration recently.
The civic body's environment department is facing an acute shortage of staff. Corporators alleged that despite having their own laboratory for testing and a monitoring station for air and noise pollution, the civic body was dependent on the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).
Former mayor and Shiv Sena corporator Dr Shubha Raul raised concerns about the negligent attitude towards the environment department. “The environment department’s building in Khar Road is in a dilapidated state and could collapse any moment. The offices have an air quality survey and research laboratory, which don’t even have a computer for precise results.” Apart from this, another small office in Worli is almost shut down owing to shortage of staff and machinery.
Raul said, “The BMC had purchased a gas chromatography machine to check the ratio of lead in the air but the machine is lying unused for the past year-and-a-half owing to a space crunch.”
All corporators have demanded immediate upgradation of the environment department. MNS corporator Pravin Darekar said, “Increasing the number of vehicles has raised concerns of pollution. We should immediately recruit staff in the department and buy new machines to get precise data.”
Replying to questions raised by corporators, additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh said, “We will start upgradation of the department. The recruitment process is going on and we are in search of a gas chromatography machine.”