Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has spent Rs 63 crore on making the city monsoon-ready, but experts are asking whether it’s of any use.
Of the money spent, Rs 42 crore was budgeted for cleaning nullahs and stormwater drains.
The BMC has also invested Rs 20 crore in 198 pumps to discharge floodwater into the sea at 189 locations. But these are a cosmetic replacement for pumping stations.
Money has also been spent on mini control rooms in all 24 ward offices and the creation of local rescue teams. An emergency cash provision of Rs 1 lakh was made for each ward.
Finally, the BMC has paid Rs 1.80 crore to the Central and Western railways to clean drains on their premises.
“None of this will save Mumbai from floods,” said Prakash Sanglikar, former deputy municipal commissioner and one of Hindustan Times’ expert panelists. He said that unless the capacity of stormwater drains was increased, flooding would continue to occur.
But the BMC has been lax in meeting deadlines for projects that could improve your life, such as the Brihanmumbai Storm Water Drains project (Brimstowad) and pumping stations.
While civic chief Swadheen Kshatriya said Brimstowad is 60 per cent complete, an engineer in the Stormwater Drains Department said: “Of the 58 works under Brimstowad, only 11 are complete and 36 are in progress. Eleven are in the tendering stage.”