The work of cleaning nullahs in the city prior to the onset of monsoon started on Monday, but the cleanup activity is muddying the waters in neighbouring Raigarh. The silt removed from the nullahs in the metropolitan’s eastern suburbs is being dumped in that district, much to the displeasure of locals. Given that monsoons are around the corner, this may lead to waterlogging in the area, they say.
On Monday, the desilting was off to a rocky start, since the contractor for eastern suburbs finalised a location in Raigarh to dump the silt without taking a no-objection certificate from the collector. Local political parties objected to the move. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) zillah adhyaksha Manish Khavle wrote to the district collector saying that he should not allow the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to dump Mumbai’s silt in Raigarh.
“Raigarh is not a dumping ground of Mumbai,” said Khavle. “We are already facing air pollution problems due to industrialisation. This silt will add to the problem. We strongly oppose the move. If this is carried on, we will handle the issue MNS style,” said Khavle.
But the BMC authorities say there is no need to take any permission. “The land chosen by the contractor is a private land and there is no need to take an NOC from the collector,” said Laxman Vhatkar, chief engineer of the BMC’s solid waste management department.
Honaji Jawale, district collector of Raigarh is not aware of the issue. “I haven’t received any application from the BMC. We will see if we receive any application about dumping silt in the district.” He also said that he has not seen any letter from the MNS.
BMC’s Vhatkar said, “The area where our silt will be dumped is a private plot and it is not a residential area. So there is no basis to oppose it.” The civic body has awarded two-yearcontracts worth Rs 107 crore to 52 contractors for desilting work in the island city, eastern suburbs and western suburbs. For the first time, the BMC has put up the condition that every contractor must dispose the silt removed in an ecological manner.
These areas may face problems during monsoon if nullahs are not cleaned: Everard Nagar, Suman Nagar, Surve Chowk in Ghatkopar, Kurla Depot, Kalpana Talkies junction, Air India Hanger colony, Ankush Gawde Road, RB Mehta road, Sonapur Junction in Bhandup, Devidas Natya Sankul area, Vaishali Nagar.