The political blame game has begun even before the monsoon and its attendant problems have rolled into the city. Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, on Wednesday, visited eight major nullahs in the western suburbs, and found progress unsatisfactory.
Thackeray, who was visiting the sites to check on desilting work that is underway, said if the city faced a repeat of the 2005 floods because of the Mithi river, the state government was to be blamed.
Referring to the ongoing spat between the BMC and Mumbai International Airport Limited over the desilting and widening work on the Mithi, Thackeray said: “There are many agencies, which do not allow the BMC to desilt nullahs passing through their land, and this should be dealt with by the state-appointed Mithi River Development and Conservation Authority. Such agencies should also be held responsible for if it results in floods.”
Thackeray, along with Mayor Shraddha Jadhav, civic standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale and officials of the Storm Water Drain department visited locations including NL Complex nullah (Dahisar), Mhatre nullah (Rajendra Nagar, Borivli),
Poisar River (Kandivli), Ramchandra nullah (Malad) and Irla pumping station (Vile Parle).
About Thackeray’s remarks, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said: “I do not want to respond to any political statements, but when it comes to the betterment of the city, it is best that the state government works with the BMC, and the BMC with the state government. At least, the state will extend all support in solving Mumbai’s issues.”
Thackeray disapproved of silt deposited alongside the NL Complex nullah — he had visited this site last year too and found no progress this year. “Action should be taken against whoever is responsible, whether they are contractors or civic officials.”
He said citizens can lodge complaints on the Sena Bhavan’s telephone number or the BMC control room number.
“The complaints should be attended to immediately,” he told his partymen.
Ahok Shintre, director, Engineering Services, BMC, said citizens can call with complaints on 1916, and said the BMC will also display — at the site — the name, address and contact number of the relevant contractor and civic official.
Thackeray plans to revisit these locations on June 6, before the monsoon arrives.