Mumbai: Former BMC Opposition Leader Ravi Raja Exposes Civic Body's Neglect, Claims Only 40 % Of City Drains Cleaned

Mumbai: Former BMC Opposition Leader Ravi Raja Exposes Civic Body's Neglect, Claims Only 40 % Of City Drains Cleaned

During his visit to the Wadala Truck Terminal Drain and Indra Nagar Minor Drain in the Sion Koliwada Assembly Constituency, Raja observed that the drainage work was far from complete.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Thursday, June 20, 2024, 11:43 PM IST
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Mumbai: Former BMC Opposition Leader Ravi Raja Exposes Civic Body's Neglect, Claims Only 40 % Of City Drains Cleaned |

Mumbai: In a recent inspection, former opposition leader of the BMC, Ravi Raja, challenged the Mumbai Municipal Corporation's claim of having completed 100 percent drain cleaning by June 1. During his visit to the Wadala Truck Terminal Drain and Indra Nagar Minor Drain in the Sion Koliwada Assembly Constituency, Raja observed that the drainage work was far from complete. Contrary to the civic body's assertions, he alleged that only 40 percent of the drains had been cleaned, highlighting significant discrepancies in the municipal corporation's reports.

Former BMC opposition leader Ravi Raja conducted a reality check and claimed that only 40% of the drain cleaning work had been completed, contrary to the municipal corporation's claims. The Free Press Journal inspected the specified locations and found that the drains urgently required attention, with overflowing gutters outside chawls, open spaces filled with dumped garbage, and perpetually overflowing dustbins.

Residents of Adarsh Nagar and the New Transit Camp in Wadala are suffering from illnesses and have grown weary of continuously filing complaints and following up on the garbage issue. The New Transit Camp, home to approximately 3,600 residents, has only two dustbins for waste disposal. Although the BMC collects garbage daily, some residents reported that the area is never thoroughly cleaned, leaving a persistent mound of garbage and filth that continues to grow.

Ravi Raja, opposition leader of the BMC, criticized the municipal corporation's claim that all minor and major drains have been cleaned. "It's a scam, with contractors and officers looting funds. The new commissioner must take action against responsible parties and address citizens' concerns about waterlogging and potholes, rather than just following government directives. The Wadala Truck Terminus drain, for example, has not been cleaned. The new commissioner announced that the cleaning would be recorded on camera—where are those videos? Wadala's major drain exemplifies how the BMC is absent on the ground. Around 30,000 residents are suffering due to this negligence. With the creek choked, how will the water drain? The BMC and Maharashtra government are merely making empty claims about deep cleaning. I'll conduct weekly inspections to reveal the truth."

"The first rain on the 9th exposed Mumbai's inadequate monsoon preparation. Sion Circle and King Circle were flooded, and new waterlogging spots appeared. We still have expectations from the new BMC commissioner to address the city's needs and take responsibility. With the heavy monsoon here, instead of wasting more money, the commissioner should take strict action against negligent contractors and officers. Active corporators would have managed this better. I urge the new commissioner to prioritize Mumbai's issues, like waterlogging and potholes, over state directives. The BMC's claim of thorough drain cleaning is false. The first heavy rain will submerge Mumbai, revealing the truth," he added.

Muskan Shaikh, a resident of the New Transit Camp, stated, "I have lived here for ten years, and this place has never been this filthy. We have been enduring this dreadful situation for over a year now. In an area with thousands of residents, we have very few dustbins and inadequate waste management. This road is never cleaned. To travel from our homes to school, work, or the main road, we have to use a small metal bridge that is also littered with garbage. When it rains heavily, this garbage floats and overflows, posing a serious hazard. Our children and elderly residents have to navigate this metal bridge, which is extremely risky. We have been requesting a cement bridge, but nobody pays attention to the demands of the poor these days. This drain runs past our houses, and without a proper outlet, it remains clogged. The BMC doesn't even bother to inspect or clean it."

Mohammad Yusuf, a 45-year-old resident who has lived in the transit camp for 25 years, expressed his frustration, saying, "Does the government not have any responsibility for the lives of the poor? Do our lives not matter? Our children are forced to play around garbage, and they are falling ill. It's not just during the monsoon, but in every season we have to live amidst this filth. During the monsoon, our lives become unbearable. When we open our doors or windows, all we see are mountains of garbage. This trash blows into our homes when the wind is strong. Imagine having a plate of food, only for wrappers from this garbage to fly into it—that's our reality. Politicians make promises, but no one actually cares enough to help us."

Firoza, a 52-year-old resident of the New Transit Camp for over 20 years, voiced her frustration and anger, saying, "There is no proper system for wastewater drainage. We are given excuses about the lack of material and manpower, and all four chawls share just one outlet, which doesn’t even have a proper border. We have to pool our own money to clean this mess. We grew up in this filth, but we don’t want the next generation to suffer the same fate. Mumbai is shining with skyscrapers and improved lifestyles, but ironically, my neighborhood has remained unchanged for 20 years. Women have been injured walking on the perpetually muddy and garbage-strewn metal bridge. The drain flows right onto the road. Even our pets get stuck in this heap of garbage, and during the monsoon, some have even fallen into it. The situation is intolerable, and we demand action now."

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