Rains are expected to start in the second week of June, but the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is still struggling to complete its work of laying drainage pipelines in Navi Mumbai in time. Citing the expected arrival of pre-monsoon showers in the next few days, NMMC commissioner Bhaskar Wankhede had instructed the engineering department to carry out all necessary work and fill the pits which have been dug up to lay the drainage pipelines before May 31. But this has not been done.
That’s not all. NMMC has not even tarred most of the roads that were dug up to lay pipelines. However, officials claim they will finish both,filling of pits and tarring of dug-up roads, within the deadline. Surendra Patil, additional chief engineer of NMMC, said, “We have finished most of the work and have started filling up pits and dug-up roads. There are some stretches that need to be tarred but that will be done in the next few days.”
The Rs 353 crore project of laying of drainage pipelines is being carrying out by the NMMC under the central government’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme for the development of cities, and the corporation was expected to complete the work by March this year. However, the NMMC has sought an extension from the JNNURM to complete the work. “Due to technicalities we couldn’t finish laying the pipelines by March but we have finished a major chunk of the work. We have sent a letter to the JNNURM to get a one-year extension and hope to get a response soon. After the monsoons, we will start laying the pipelines again and will try to finish by December,” he added.
The JNNURM is incurring 35 per cent of the project cost while the state government is incurring 15 per cent. The remaining 50 per cent will be borne by the corporation, informed Patil.
Citizens, however, are unhappy with the lackadaisical approach of the corporation. Rajdeep Sukhandare, a real estate agent, said, “The roads have been dug up since three months, and it took them one month to tar the road. Even now, there are a few roads that have not filled after being dug up, so we will face huge problems during the rainy season if the work is not completed in time.”