Mumbai: Perhaps Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to pay more surprise visits to Mumbai, considering the speed with which the cave-in on Anandilal Poddar Marg near Marine Lines road was fixed, in just a day. Mumbaikars were pleasantly surprised to find the spot covered and in ready-to-use condition after the disaster on Monday.
BMC replaced the burst pipeline which was responsible for the cave-in by 4.30am on Tuesday, as the PM’s convoy was scheduled to pass through this route. Modi was in town to inaugurate the third annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and meet leaders of India Inc.
The Disaster Management Unit of the BMC tweeted saying, “BMC staff working overnight to restore water supply despite Mumbai rains as 24-inch pipeline burst at Gol Masjid,” using hashtags like #WaterSupplyOnTime #Commitment #MCGM. Never mind the several unattended issues of other potholes and open manholes which the BMC is notorious for. Modi’s visit was the driving force for the unusual speedy repairs done by the civic body.
Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Commissioner, A-Ward, had tweeted earlier, “Road caved in due to 600mm Dia water main pipeline burst near metro cinema marine line @MCGM_BMC attending leakage on priority hoping to open the road for traffic tomorrow before H’ble PM’s visit. Water supply in the fort/Dongri/Bombay hospital might get affected in the morning.”
When asked about the development, Dighavkar said, “We have replaced the pipeline already, now we will concretise it and put the backfill. Once that is done, the road should be ready and open for the public.” When asked if PM’s visit was the reason for the quick action, hydraulic engineer Ashokkumar Tawadia said, “We normally work on such issues promptly. The pipeline must have been extremely old, which led to the burst. We have replaced it entirely and completed the work by 4.30am today. There was no disturbance to the public and water supply was restored.” However, the lax attitude of civic officials was back on display as they took cognizance of the boundary wall collapse incident at Wadala’s Lloyds Estate, which occurred on the same day as the road cave-in.