Mumbai: The BMC on Thursday made an attempt to pat its own back over its ‘preparedness’ for monsoon. The civic body however could not boast for long as the Bombay High Court reminded it of its failures in the past and asked it to come up with a better mechanism so as to avoid unfortunate incidents like the death of Dr Deepak Amrapurkar.
A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai said, “We want you (BMC) to come up with a better mechanism to notify your ward-level authorities about grievances of the public during the floods. Our main concern is that the unfortunate incident like the death of a doctor should not be repeated again.” The observation was made in response to an affidavit filed by BMC through senior counsel Anil Sakhre, claiming it is ‘fully’ prepared to deal with nature’s fury this year. The civic body in its affidavit claimed it has installed protective grills under 1425 manholes across the city.
“A total of 1425 protective grills have been installed in the manholes in flood-prone areas. Thirty-six life-guards have been deployed at the six major beaches. Also, 142 municipal schools have been identified to provide temporary shelter to citizens during floods,” Sakhre said referring to the affidavit filed by Kishor Kshirsagar, the Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Disaster Management). To this, Justice More remarked, “Last year on the day of floods, hundreds of court staff were compelled to stay back on HC premises. We had to arrange for their food and stay. Even as some lawyers came to help the staff here, we did not hear a single word from BMC on it.”
“It is apparent that on such a day when no mode of transport was available, people would have been stranded inside a public building like the HC. We believe BMC, at least out of sheer responsibility, should have called someone in the HC to check if any help was required. But the civic body did not even bother to do so,” Justice More added. Advocate Sakhre defended the civic body saying that this year it was fully prepared and ready to tackle every possible issue during the monsoon.