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Mumbai: Flooding inevitable this monsoon despite desilting work in city

Updated on: 23 May,2024 06:58 AM IST  |  Mumbai
A Correspondent |

BMC has no answers for waste from slums dumped into nullahs from nearby dwellings

Mumbai: Flooding inevitable this monsoon despite desilting work in city

BMC contract workers removing plastic garbage from a nullah outside Bandra station on the east side. File pic/Satej Shinde

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Mumbai: Flooding inevitable this monsoon despite desilting work in city

Despite the desilting work of the open storm water drains, flooding in the city will be inevitable this monsoon as BMC hasn’t found any solution to the waste thrown into nullahs by the slum dwellers. BMC officials discussed various solutions like the appointment of a centralised agency, covering nullahs, installing nets over nullahs, etc. But with just 15 days until the arrival of the monsoon, none of the solutions have materialised.

The BMC started nullah cleaning work in April and till now as per the estimation over 93 percent cleaning work is completed. But no one gives a guarantee that the city will not be flooded this monsoon. 

The officials from the storm water drainage department point at the solid waste management department on the matter of nullahs getting choked. “We clean the nullahs every year, but the basic question is why the nullahs choke up despite cleaning? The waste comes from the adjacent slums and it is solid waste management’s duty to collect the waste regularly so that people won’t throw it in nullahs,” said an official from SWD. The department also wrote a letter to the SWD last year highlighting the same issue. 

The solid waste management department was trying to appoint a centralised agency which is responsible for all the sanitation work in slums. But as the matter went to the court the tender process hasn’t been completed yet. Over 2,000 workers, from several NGOs who are officially referred as volunteers receiving stipends have moved the court as the BMC’s plan of centralised agency threatens their livelihood.

 “The case is pending in the court, we received some directions and we have asked our legal department for advice. The tender dates have been extended to June 5,” said Sudhakar Shinke, additional commissioner of the BMC. The civic body is about to spend R1,500 crore on cleaning the slums in the next four years which will include waste collection, cleaning of public toilets and drains in slums. Currently, door-to-door waste collection is carried out by workers of a non-profit. “The nullahs get choked during every monsoon because of garbage and other floating material dumped in.  The contractor is responsible to collect the garbage regularly so that it won’t be thrown in nullahs,” a civic official said.

The other solutions like covering nullahs, installing nets on nullah were done on a pilot basis in the last few years but they haven’t been implemented on a large basis. The BMC officials said such a solution helps at some locations and not across the city but they are considering it so that at least nullahs remain clean at a few locations.

Per cent of nullah cleaning completed

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