Shiv Sena, BJP continue to fight, this time over Mumbai’s nullahs, Uddhav’s ‘no-flooding’ claims

Warring allies: BJP questions Sena-led BMC’s nullah clean-up claims; CM Fadnavis orders audit

mumbai Updated: May 12, 2017 10:26 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times
BJP,shiv Sena,BMC

Just days after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said Mumbai will not flood this monsoon as the civic body’s work on clearing nullahs is on track, a group of BJP leaders on Thursday demanded that the chief minister starts an audit to check the Sena’s claims.

Claims over cleaning and desilting nullahs to ensure Mumbai doesn’t flood has now become the warring allies’ newest battleground.

On Thursday, CM Devendra Fadnavis directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to share details of the desilting work online, on a daily basis till June 10. He has also asked the BMC publicly share the contact numbers of the contractors and site engineers working on the projects.

The CM’s directions came after the BJP leaders demanded an audit of flood-prone areas in Mumbai, and said they were not satisfied with the desilting of storm water drains done by the civic administration so far.

While the BJP supports the ruling Sena in the BMC, the two parties have been taking every opportunity to target each other after the civic polls in February.

READ: Mumbai didn’t flood in 2016, won’t flood this year, says Uddhav Thackeray

BJP’s city unit chief Ashish Shelar, who led the delegation, said the chief minister had accepted their demands and had directed BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta to conduct an audit of flood-prone spots.

BJP leaders said their complaint come after they visited several spots to review how prepared Mumbai was for the monsoon.

In a memorandum writted to the chief minister, Shelar said the work done so far was not satisfactory. Shelar said the BJP leaders also found bogus receipts for desilting works and suggested the need for monitoring.

“Based on the complaints, the chief minister directed the municipal commissioner to share details of silt removal online and that too on daily basis. BMC has to share this information on all social media platforms for transparency,” Shelar said.

The BJP leader also suggested constituting an authority for maintaining roads and removing silt from nullahs, on the lines of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).

Despite being in government, the Sena has been criticising the BJP government on all major issues, including the farm loan waiver, demonetisation and transparency in cabinet meetings, among other things. The Sena had even joined hands with Opposition parties over waiving loans of distressed farmers.

First Published: May 12, 2017 09:17 IST