Mumbai: The BMC administration has claimed that 100 per cent desilting work has been completed by its contractors on May 30. This year, the BMC had decided to remove 9.1 lakh metric tonne silt from all the nullahs before the monsoon, which was 75 per cent of the total target. That target has been achieved. According to the BMC, the remaining 10 per cent would be removed during the monsoon and 15 per cent after the monsoon. According to the BMC dashboard, 103 per cent desilting work has been done in eastern suburbs and 102 per cent in city areas.
This year, the civic body had made arrangements of uploading daily progress of desilting work on its website with the objective to give people the real-time information about work. On Monday, the BMC's dashboard showed 100 per cent completion of desilting work. It has removed silt from all small, big nullahs as well as gutters along with the roads and Mithi river. BMC has made it mandatory for all the contractors to upload daily progress along with the photographs.
On March 8, the tenure of Shiv-Sena led corporation had ended. The state government handed over all the powers to the existing commissioner Dr Iqbal Singh Chahal appointing him as an administrator.
However, the work started late this year, prompting the opposition parties to target BMC. In April, Chahal himself visited various nullahs and reviewed the work. He had then directed all the contractors to work in two shifts and increase machinery along with manpower to speed up the work. Chahal had also directed deputy commissioners and additional commissioners to regularly visit the nullahs and review the progress of the ongoing work.
Deputy commissioner, (Infrastructure), Ullhas Mahale said, “We have over-achieved our target in some areas. As per our procedure we removed 75 per cent silt before monsoon and achieved the target.” When asked about despite tall claims about desilting works, what if the city witnesses water logging? Mahale said, “The strength of our drainage is limited. It can carry water only if the city witnesses rainfall of 50 mm. However, if it exceeds, it is beyond control of the civic body,” he said.
However, former BJP corporator Vinod Mishra said, “As per our information, only 45-50 per cent desilting work has been completed. If the BMC claims of completing 100 per cent work, then can it guarantee that there would not be waterlogging this monsoon. This is nothing but an eyewash,” he said.