A day after HT published the first of its pre-monsoon audit reports, political leaders in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation admitted that the civic body needs to complete the pre-monsoon work urgently before the monsoons sets in, while Opposition leaders blamed bad contractors and a lack of urgency for the incomplete work.
On June 2, a day after the May 31 deadline set for the completion of pre-monsoon work, a team of six experts put together by HT visited 16 trouble spots across the city only to find that work was incomplete despite the BMC’s claims that it has completed 90% of the work.
Dilip Patel, group leader of Bharatiya Janata Party, which is part of the ruling alliance in the BMC, said that this year the BMC had stretched itself and completed much of the work. “But the muck that has been removed from the nullahs has been left on the side and not taken to dumping grounds. In the next few days, before it starts raining heavily, the silt must urgently be picked up from the side of the nullahs,” Patel said.
Several corporators alleged that certain contractors monopolise the nullah-cleaning work. “Every year, the contracts are awarded to the same set of contractors even when their work, over the years, has not been satisfactory,” said Pravin Chheda, senior Congress corporator.
Rais Sheikh, Samajwadi Party corporator, said that just as the BMC does pre-monsoon work, it must also work towards educating Mumbaiites about civic issues. “Of the total amount the BMC spends on cleaning nullahs, one-tenth could be spent on holding awareness campaigns for citizens and educating them about the city’s storm water drains, as that will prevent people from throwing garbage in the nullahs,” he said.