A brief-spell of pre-monsoon showers on Friday served as an unpleasant curtain-raiser to what’s in store during the monsoon at Chembur. Apart from the routine water-logging, the sights greeting residents here were drains choked with garbage, open drains and man holes, and roads dotted with potholes.
Citizens and activists on Friday conducted an audit in the M West ward (Chembur), giving its rain-preparedness a three out of 10.
"There is not a single nullah here that is completely clean. Despite repeated complaints, only 10% of the pre-monsoon preparation is complete," said Rajkumar Sharma, member, AGNI.
The BMC claims they don’t have required manpower to clean nullahs. "We had asked for 11,000 labourers, but only 3,500 workers are employed. This has led to the delay, but most drains will be cleaned by next week," said Sandhya Nandedkar, assistant municipal commissioner, M West ward.
While Nandedkar claims that 85-90% of the desilting work is complete, citizens point out many garbage-choked culverts and roadside drains that are already on the verge of overflowing.
Infrastructural projects have also posed hurdles. At the arterial RC Marg, pillars of the monorail stations have been erected on the drains, thereby obstructing the flow of water. "Because of these projects, Chembur’s roads and drains are badly affected," said Sanjay Kokani, a local activist.