Despite the BMC’s claim that Mumbai was well-prepared for the monsoon and that 99% of de-silting work had been completed, the city shut down on Friday, the first heavy rain day of 2015.
As the city limped back to normalcy on Monday, at a general body meeting of the BMC, members of opposition parties demanded a probe by the anti-corruption bureau into the alleged nullah cleaning scam.
The BMC claimed to have finished 99% of nullah de-silting work. This claim was tested – and found wanting – during Thursday’s and Friday’s downpours, in which low-lying areas such as Mumbai Central, Hindamata, Kurla, Milan subway and Santacruz were flooded. It took another 24 hours for the water to recede in some areas.
The opposition is demanding answers from the BMC and its ruling party, the Shiv Sena. “There is huge scam in the nullah cleaning work. The big nullahs only appeared to be clean. Roadside drains and small nullahs were not cleaned at all. The BMC administration needs to clarify where the Rs150 crore was spent,” said Devendra Amberkar, leader of the opposition in the BMC.
The opposition also targeted Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who had expressed satisfaction with the pre-monsoon work. Yashodhar Phanse, chairman of the standing committee, said, “The BMC toiled relentlessly since Thursday to solve all the complaints. The opposition should consider the incessant rains before blaming us.”