mid day editorial: BMC needs to be battle ready this monsoon

Published: May 07, 2019, 07:00 IST | A Correspondent | Mumbai

On Monday, a front-page report detailed how work is yet to begin on more than a 100 of the city's roads which have to be ready for the monsoon

With just a month left before monsoon arrives in the city, the obvious and inevitable question remains: is Mumbai rain-ready? A report in this paper cited how the BMC is struggling to complete de-silting work, especially in the underground drains. Last year, the civic body had bought a robot at a cost of around R6 crore, to remove the silt from stretches of underground nullahs that had not been cleaned in decades.

Yet, civic officials from the Storm Water Drains (SWD) department said that the robots (a device with a suction attachment, which is controlled with a remote) were unable to do the job and they are now trying to find equipment with a higher capacity.

On Monday, a front-page report detailed how work is yet to begin on more than a 100 of the city's roads which have to be ready for the monsoon. Every year, we hear the civic authorities claiming that the city is ready for the monsoon, but it inevitably falls short when it pours buckets.

Efforts have to redouble given that all the construction in the city is going to make negotiating more hazardous. The ongoing Metro work already results in traffic snarls. The monsoon brings with it unique challenges for Mumbai and the roads are a major problem. Even spells of moderate rain result in traffic and slow moving vehicles. With so many outlets for the water to drain out, already blocked thanks to the ongoing work, flooding is a given. It is vital then, to ensure that preparations are at an optimum, and man and machinery are deployed in order to be effective.

Potholes, and open manholes - we hope a solution has been found to those movable covers - should also be priority for authorities. The city's most difficult season is around the corner. Mumbai's custodians must be battle ready before the monsoon, not battle weary after it.

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