With no end in sight to the tussle between the political wings of the civic body and the state government over the desilting work of six-km stretch of the Mithi, the river continues to be an alarming cause for concern ahead of the monsoon.
After the desilting work was handed over by the state to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) last year, the civic body and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) have been at
loggerheads over the responsibility.
The Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in the BMC continues to stand by its demand that the MMRDA should fund the desilting of the six-km stretch.
However, with only a little over three weeks to go before monsoon, there has still not been any response to this demand by the MMRDA — a state agency ruled by the Congress. The stalemate has put areas of Kurla, Santacruz and Vakola at the risk of flooding.
Senior civic officials said that a meeting has been planned on May 10 by the state chief secretary on the issue. “No decision has been taken yet. We expect to arrive at a resolution in the meeting,” said a senior civic official.
“Our stand is clear on the issue and we will not backtrack. The MMRDA should reimburese the costs borne by the BMC,” said Shewale.
Transport expert Jitendra Gupta criticised the authorities for their negligence in carrying out work on time. “How can authorities show negligence over such an important issue as delay in cleaning of the Mithi river can lead to flooding in the city?” said Gupta.
Though the MMRDA will not directly be a part of pre-monsoon Mithi river cleaning work this year, it will construct a retaining wall along the stretch as a part of widening and beautification of the river.
According to MMRDA, around 90% of widening and beautification work has been completed so far.