Mumbai : Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has seemingly failed to learn a lesson even after railway authorities failed to submit an audit report on funds spent on desilting the drains under railway tracks.
BMC last year funded the de-silting work of the railway authorities which cost the corporation about Rs 4.64 crore.
The railways failed to submit their audit report and the civic body has still gone ahead and paid Rs 4.15 crore for this year’s desilting work. Of the entire amount, the cost for desilting of drains in the island city for the central line has cost Rs 1.33 crore. Cost for the western line desilting work is Rs 43.89 lakh, for the eastern suburbs along the central line is Rs 1.46 crore and for western suburbs is Rs 92.23 lakh.
Speaking to Free Press Journal, a senior civic official defended this expenditure. “Had we not funded this year’s desilting of drains that are under the jurisdiction of the railways, taxpayers would have blamed us for any untoward incident of water-logging on railway tracks,” said the official.
He admitted BMC had last year insisted for a progress report on desilting work done by the railway authorities; however, the railways are yet to submit the report.
Railway authorities were unavailable for comment. Ramsey Rebello, an activist, said, “The civic body should not be funding the railway authorities if they are not giving a proper expenditure report. The civic body has even failed to desilt the city’s rivers and there are still crores of rupees spent on carrying out the desilting work every year.” At least 20% of the city’s drains are under the jurisdiction of the railways which has 150 culverts on its premises. The civic body carries out an annual desilting work as pre-monsoon preparedness.