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Make tardy contractors pay

With the generous amount of rain this city has received during the season, one would think water shortages would be ruled out, at least temporarily. Yesterday, though, this paper carried a report on how the city loses 455 million litres of water every day (mld), thanks to an incomplete bridge at the Middle Vaitarna dam.

This report stated how Mumbai could not avail of the additional 455 mld of water, because the height of the existing bridge at the Middle Vaitarna dam in Thane rural district constricts its capacity. The Public Works Dept. had to construct a higher bridge so that the dam could hold more water. Yet, in a depressingly familiar story, the bridge, which was to be completed in May last year, has not been finished yet. The BMC is also losing out on approximately Rs 150 crore annually as it was counting on earning additional revenue.

While the tardiness with reference to the bridge is not new for readers long inured to the delaying of projects and infrastructure, it is time the buck stops somewhere, with reference to bridge delay.

Till accountancy and punitive measures like strict fines are not the order of the day with reference to numerous projects and city infrastructure, one is afraid that shoddy work, sub-standard construction and delays are going to continue.

Now, one can only hope for some redemption with a fresh August deadline in place. Even if this is adhered to, efforts must be made to find out the reasons for the delay, simply to ensure that this does not happen again. To tweak a cliché, a bridge in time, saves more than a dime.   

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