Mumbai's desilting: Political leaders mean business, no mucking around (FPJ EXCLUSIVE)

Mumbai's desilting: Political leaders mean business, no mucking around (FPJ EXCLUSIVE)

As the civic elections are expected post-monsoon, the issue has gained urgency.

Kalpesh MhamunkarUpdated: Saturday, May 20, 2023, 12:17 AM IST
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Mumbai's desilting: Political leaders mean business, no mucking around (FPJ EXCLUSIVE) | FPJ Photo

Mumbai: City  politics has plummeted to low levels with political parties sparring over muck removed from drains and nullahs. The BJP under the leadership of its city president Ashish Shelar recently asked all MLAs, MPs and ex-corporators to closely inspect desilting of gutters and nullahs to find out if the work has been carried out satisfactorily by the contractors.

Predictably, the BJP,  for whom municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal is bete noire, is totally unsatisfied with the work. Desilting contracts run into several crores of rupees. The party found the work “shoddy” and demanded an inquiry. As the civic elections are expected post-monsoon, the issue has gained urgency. 

Shelar asks BMC to release data of weight of sludge removed

On Monday, after visits to nullahs, Shelar asked the BMC to disclose the weight of sludge that has been removed. Similarly, they must give an account of how deep have the contractors gone in removing the silt.

Stung by the criticism of desilting by its ally, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who belongs to the Shiv Sena, on Thursday went about the metropolis to review the work. He was accompanied by his party leaders like Sada Sarvankar and Naresh Mhaske, besides Chahal and senior officials of the BMC. Apparently, he did not find anything much amiss, but only asked that the process of desilting be hastened. He did, however, ask the contractors to scrape the bottom of the nullahs.

The BJP has been repeatedly targeting Chahal but has been unable to do anything about him. It got the Comptroller and Auditor General to audit several civic projects. Despite the CAG unearthing scams running into several thousand crores, no action has been taken against the guilty officials. 

The Anti-Corruption Bureau, which comes under deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP, wanted to probe a corruption case against assistant municipal commissioners Manish Walunj and Mahesh Patil, but in vain.

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