As Mumbai gears up for the monsoon, Mayor Sunil Prabhu has expressed the desire that all roads in the city be placed under the control of the local civic body, which will take responsibility for their regular maintenance. The Opposition, though, has criticised the demand, saying that the BMC should first maintain its road ahead of monsoon.
Besides Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), government agencies like MMRDA and MSRDC are also involved in construction and upkeep of infrastructure projects.
Maintenance of roads is a major issue for Mumbai's citizens, especially during the monsoons.
On Tuesday, the Mayor announced that he would write to the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday about handing over all roads to the BMC.
“There should be only one agency to look after all roads within the city limit. The government should hand over the toll naka's exit and entry points and also advertisement rights to the BMC so that the BMC can maintain all roads properly.”
Along with the responsibility of roads, all revenue sources from them should also be placed under the control of MCGM, Prabhu said.
Both Eastern and Western Expressways are with the state Public Works Department (PWD) while the roads on which Metro and Monorail work is going on are with the MMRDA. Mumbai Port Trust and MHADA also maintain a few roads in the city.
“This would be the best solution without any confusion for better roads. The BMC has all infrastructures like manpower and machinery to maintain roads in proper way. So the state government should consider on the demand and handover roads to the BMC,” said Prabhu.
Devendra Amberkar, leader of opposition in the BMC, alleged that the monsoon would be bad for Mumbai commuters.
“Before inviting other road responsibility first the BMC should show the result on their own roads. BMC’s road are not properly maintained and the tall claims made by the Shiv Sena would fall soon,” said Amberkar.
About MCGM's preparedness for the approaching rainy season, he said the civic body is creating a website for Mumbaikars that will have important information on rains and related issues. "We are launching a website which will have details about amount of rainfall in a particular area, the exact temperature there and weather predictions," he said.
The first citizen of Mumbai said MCGM is in the process of making a specialised application for smartphones that will provide contents of the website to the users.
Special attention will be given to address health concerns during monsoon and campaigns would be undertaken to highlight importance of cleanliness to ward off rain-related diseases, Prabhu said.
"Dengue is a common disease in Mumbai during monsoon. We will impart education on cleanliness among people. We will start a campaign to control diseases like malaria. All health facilities will be provided to citizens during monsoons."
To a query on the drainage system, which gets clogged during heavy downpour, Prabhu said till May 22, 80-85 per cent of the drains in Mumbai had been cleaned.