Nullah desilting may not be over before rains

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 14, 2015 00:07 IST

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to allot contracts for desilting nullahs across the city as part of pre-monsoon works, which should have begun around February.

A proposal worth around Rs285 crore to clean the nullahs and Mithi River, a project that can last for up to two years, will be tabled in the standing committee on Wednesday.

Around 116 major and 200 minor nullahs are expected to be desilted before monsoon, which takes up to three months. The last day for completion of pre-monsoon works is May 31 and the process has already been delayed enough, said corporators.

The delay will give the contractor just about a month’s time to desilt the nullahs, they said.

Also, the budgetary provisions made for the project was hardly Rs100 crore for a year. The BMC officials said it will be increased next year, to match the project cost of Rs285 crore.

Of the total funds, around Rs80 crore is likely to be spent on the desilting of major and minor nullahs in the island city including a part of the Mithi River. About Rs92 crore may be spent on desilting of major, minor nullahs in the eastern suburbs and other part of the Mithi River, while more than Rs113 crore will be spent on nullahs in the western suburbs.

According to the proposal, the contractor will have to dispose of the silt in a private plot. This proposal was put forth taking into account the lack of space in the existing dumping grounds.

Laxman Vhatkar, chief engineer (storm water drains) said, “A proposal of Rs285 crore will be tabled in the standing committee. The budgetary provisions for it will be made next year as the contract is for two years.”

Some corporators criticised the fact that the bids received by the civic body are 33% to 36% lower than the estimated value of the project.

“As the project is under-valued, the contractor may end up doing a shoddy job. The work should have started by now. There is not much time left to complete the work efficiently,” said Sandeep Deshpande, NCP corporator from Dadar and standing committee member.

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