The two agencies fighting over Mumbai have finally decided to smoke the peace pipe.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Metropolitan
Region Development Authority (MMRDA), after having been at loggerheads for years over infrastructure work in the city, have set up a mechanism to resolve contentious issues.
Senior officers from both agencies met at the BMC headquarters on Monday to chalk out a plan.
“To ensure the betterment of Mumbai, heads of both the organisations will meet once every two months to sort out problems, if any,” Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said.
The additional metropolitan commissioner and the additional municipal commissioner will meet once every month to monitor and share reports on various projects and sort out issues.
“Such efforts will bring both, the MMRDA and the BMC, on the same page from where implementation and coordination of many projects will become easier,” Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya said.
The city has been witnessing a war of words between officials of the two agencies over the status of infrastructure projects and the city’s monsoon preparedness.
Former Mayor Shubha Raul had openly attacked the MMRDA during her tenure saying its slow pace of work on infrastructure projects could lead to flooding in the city.
There were heated exchanges between the MMRDA commissioner and Raul over these issues with the chief minister himself having to step in to ease the tension.
Gaikwad, finally, decided that the two agencies had to sit down and talk things over and called for Monday’s meeting.
At the end of the meeting, the BMC agreed to provide all the necessary services to the 33 MMRDA colonies where project-affected people have been resettled and rehabilitated.
This includes daily disposal of garbage, cleaning of open drains, and maintenance of the underground sewerage system, sweeping of main and internal roads, supply of adequate water supply at reasonable rates and cleaning of septic tanks.
It was also suggested that wherever any of the infrastructure facilities made available do not meet the standards set by the BMC, the MMRDA will make good the costs for bringing them up to acceptable standards.