Only 20 percent de-silting was done

Mumbai: Amid criticism that the BMC is facing for its ham-handed handling of the rains in Mumbai, the CAG has exposed the civic body on its de-silting claims. Its report says the BMC had admitted before the CAG that they had completed only 20 percent de-silting work before the monsoon. After weighing the facts, the CAG has held the BMC responsible for waterlogging. “De-silting is 20 percent before monsoon, 60 percent during the monsoon and 20 percent afterwards – this is the case every year,” the BMC admitted before the CAG. Experts, however, say at least 40 percent de-silting work should be completed before monsoon.

Interestingly, BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has said on record that the pre-monsoon work was complete and the flooding was a result of climate change. This view is reinforced by what the Shiv Sena had to say on Tuesday after the wall collapse at Malad. ‘‘The incident is not a BMC failure. It happened because of heavy rainfall. There are several illegal constructions in Mumbai and the BMC has nothing to do with that. Rather, people are happy because of the rainfall,’’ was Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut’s assessment of Mumbai’s misery.

"Russia is a developed country. Still, it gets flooded. I don't think the BMC is responsible for the situation in the city,’’ elaborating on his theses. The report points out that there was a delay of six years in updating the BRIMSTOWAD master plan project, as the consultant did not submit the report. BRIMSTOWAD is the project for better and effective storm water disposal system. Poor River Cleaning The reports also exposed the dithering over the widening, deepening and ‘training’ work in Mithi River. The BMC has admitted that out of the 21.588 km of widening and deepening of work, only 15.849 km has been completed. Also, it has admitted that out of the 12 bridges to be constructed on this river, the construction of 5 bridges is yet to commence.

River ‘training’ is an important component in the prevention and mitigation of flash floods as well as in ensuring safe passage of a flood under a bridge. The CAG has also rapped the BMC for its work on Dahisar River. As against a target of 4.750 KM training of Dahisar River, only 4.150 km training work at a cost of Rs.70.71 crore was completed. It has similarly slammed the BMC for the delay in training of the Poisar River, pointing out that only 4 km out of the proposed 7 km of training has been completed.

- Pramod Chunchuwar

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