While the pre-monsoon cleaning of drains is a routine task for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), it tends to regularly avoid another aspect of the work; removing the accumulated silt of nullahs from the roads.
With 11 days to go for the completion of drain cleaning work, the BMC is yet to remove the silt lying around near the nullahs
The cleaning crew ends up dumping the silt and garbage on the nearby roads and footpaths, much to the disgust and dismay of citizens.
The drain cleaning work is said to be 60-65 per cent complete, according to the civic body. In spite of clear norms saying that accumulated silt bust be taken to BMC’s dumping ground, there has been no follow through.
While the stink of the garbage and muck is one issue, the bigger problem is that monsoons will wash it back into the drains.
11 days to go
Despite several visits of BMC officials and the city’s mayor, the work seems to be going on a snail’s pace. Two major nullahs in the western suburbs one on Andheri Link road near Lokhandwala and another on Juhu Tara road, are yet to be cleaned.
While last year the delay was blamed on the unavailability of a dumping place for the silt, there is no such excuse to hide behind this year.
Speaking to mid-day, Laxman Vhatkar, chief engineer of the storm water drain department, said, “The drain-cleaning work is ongoing and we will complete it on time.
About 60-70 per cent of the work is complete and we will check the nullahs where work is yet to start. The small drains, and clearing of silt, however, is the responsibility of wards and you will have to check with them on this issue.”
A senior official, requesting anonymity, said, “If the silt is not cleared on time, then even one heavy shower will end up putting it all back in the drain. However, the work is going on and we will try to remove it as soon as possible. We have asked the wards to complete the work properly.”
Vishwas Shankarwar, assistant municipal commissioner, K-West ward, said, “The nullah cleaning work is ongoing and we are dumping the accumulated silt at the dumping ground. The entire work will be finished by deadline.”
Rs 180 cr
Two-year budget for cleaning the nullahs of the city