With monsoons coming up soon, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has begun giving out contracts worth Rs 112 crore for desilting nullahs in the city. However, many citizens have been complaining that the small nullahs are left out of the cleaning process.
Keeping this in mind, this year, the civic body has invested Rs 2 crore in buying two new machines that will help desilt the small nullahs in the city for the first time. This is the first experience of the Storm Water Drain (SWD) department with these machines, which were earlier used for sewerage operations by the Sewerage Operation (SO) department.
BMC gives out contracts every year to have a proper drainage system in place, so flooding due to clogged drains can be prevented during monsoons. Earlier, the small nullahs would be ignored and would add to the woes of residents during monsoons. The civic body was also blamed of ignoring the issue and not keeping a check on the contractors working on cleaning the nullahs.
Sachin Parkar, a resident of Ghatkopar, said, “Silt has always been a problem, and the BMC doesn’t do it at the ground level, only giving out tenders. I doubt if these machines will be used to clean small nullahs. If the big ones nullahs are lying unclean, the contractors surely won’t bother to clean the small ones.”
No third party
The administration however claimed that the department will be operating these machines directly and there will be no third party involved in the process. “We are experimenting with this kind of machines for the first time,” said Laxman Vhatkar, Chief Engineer (SWD). “The work has already started in some parts of the city. These machines are helpful for the small nullahs where work cannot be done manually.”