BMC completes 21% desilting work in Island city, 48% in eastern and 41% in western suburbs

Published on May 07, 2022 12:08 AM IST

Mumbai: About four weeks to the deadline for pre-monsoon repairs, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has completed 21% of the nullah desilting work in the Island city, 48% in eastern suburbs, and 41% in western suburbs

The civic body has urged all residents not to continue throwing garbage into the nullahs, as floating garbage can lead to choked nullahs during monsoon. (HT PHOTO)
The civic body has urged all residents not to continue throwing garbage into the nullahs, as floating garbage can lead to choked nullahs during monsoon. (HT PHOTO)
ByEeshanpriya M S

Mumbai: About four weeks to the deadline for pre-monsoon repairs, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has completed 21% of the nullah desilting work in the Island city, 48% in eastern suburbs, and 41% in western suburbs. In addition to this, 42% of the desilting work of minor nullahs is done and 82% of work in the Mithi River has been completed, according to the civic body’s website.

The desilting work is part of BMC’s pre-monsoon target of completing 75% in four months, up till June before the monsoon hits the city. The remaining 25% of the desilting work is done during and after the monsoons.

Amid accusations that the civic body was slacking, the BMC sought to increase its transparency. They are updating data on the desilting of nullahs in real-time on the BMC portal, where citizens can check the progress of the work.

Updates on all 301 major nullahs and 1508 minor nullahs, and stormwater drains (island city) will be available in real-time. Updates on the progress of work on the desilting of the Mithi river are also available. The portal has been made live now.

Meanwhile, the civic body has urged all residents not to continue throwing garbage into the nullahs, as floating garbage can lead to choked nullahs during monsoon.

During an interaction with media on Friday, Ulhas Mane, deputy municipal commissioner, infrastructure, said, “The website will maintain records and act as proof, in real-time, of the desilting work that is being done every day, along with photographs and videos attached. No one will be able to say there are discrepancies in work, or work has been ignored, and the civic body has grown slack.”

The portal acts as the front end of the system giving real-time updates, where a recently developed mobile application will act as the backend. The log-in authority for this mobile app has been given to all site supervisors, sub-engineers overseeing desilting work, and contractors as well. These staffs are responsible for uploading photos and videos of the work done every day.

“The entire process of desilting daily, transfering the silt into dumpers, the arrival of the dumping ground at Bhiwandi, and unloading of the silt will be updated along with photographs and videos. An empty dumper arrives at the site where desilting is happening, and a photo is taken of this dumper. This is loaded with the removed silt, and a photo of that is taken. It travels to the dumping yard where it is unloading the silt, and photos and videos of those are taken as well,” Vibhas Achrekar, deputy municipal commissioner of the stormwater drains department said.

The site officers are required to use the mobile application for authenticity, as their photographs and videos are geotagged with a date and time stamp. The system will also generate the actual amount of silt removed daily, targets of the year, and percent of work done against the target. BMC has targeted the removal of approximately 900,000 metric tonnes of silt.

Work orders for the removal of silt were delayed by a week this year, as the standing committee dissolved after serving its term of 5 years in March this year and BMC polls of 2022 are delayed. Instead of April 1, work orders were issued on April 7. Considering the delay, contractors have been given a minimum target of desilting 50% of the pre-monsoon target of 75% silt removal.

When asked if the work will be completed within the deadline, Ashok Mistry, chief engineer of the stormwater drains department said, “We will be able to complete the work within the deadline, and a review of the work will be done on May 15, mid-way to the May-end deadline.”

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