If the havoc caused by last year’s first spell of pre-monsoon showers are an indication of the apathy of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) towards efficient planning to counter water-logging during the rainy season, the citizens of the twin-city are bracing for the worst. Thanks to the shoddy pre-monsoon de-silting work of nullahs by the notorious cartel of contractors and obstacles owing to the presence of dense mangrove cover in creeks, the civic administration is likely to miss the 31, May deadline which may compel citizens to face the monsoon blues.
In response to MBMC’s request, the mangrove cell of the forest department on Friday inspected nullah’s and creeks which have a large presence of mangroves. However, as per MBMC officials, the members of the cell have informed that permission to weed out the dead mangrove shrubs will be given only after conducting a panchnama of the wetlands. With the rainy season just round the corner and possibility of pre-monsoon showers, not ruled out, the delay in panchnama followed by tedious task of weeding dead mangrove shrubs out of the major water bodies and creeks, is all set to pose serious problems for the twin-city.
There are a total of 155 major and minor nullahs in the twin-city which measure up to more than 240 km’s. With 31, May as the deadline, MBMC claims to have completed 90% 0f the de-silting work. Several creeks are crucial outlets that protect the twin-city from possible floods. Choked with sludge, debris and muck, the creeks pose a serious threat of flooding in low-lying areas, especially during high tides.
As an annual pre-monsoon ritual, the MBMC has awarded multi-crore manual and mechanical excavation contracts to private agencies on a daily and hourly basis. Although concerns had been raised over ample scope to exploit loopholes in the clock-based pricing structure, the quality of de-silting operations is also under the scanner. On the other hand the MBMC has desperately tried to put up a brave front by launching a photo-op during a cosmetic inspection drive.