List of names of each official assigned to every flooding prone spot to be circulated before monsoon; engineers point to huge vacancies and load on them
The flooding prone spots are mostly in the central parts of the city. File pic/Sameer Markande
After instructions from Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started the process of fixing responsibility onto individual officials in case of flooding in the city. A list of officials will be circulated for citizens’ benefit before the monsoon.
Every year, the BMC publishes a list of its ward engineers’ phone numbers for citizens to register complaints about potholes. This year, the BMC will also make a list of officials responsible for every flood spot. The engineers’ association of the BMC has, however, pointed out the huge number of vacancies and load on them.
There are around 87 spots prone to flooding in the city, mostly in the central parts. CM Shinde instructed the BMC to fix the responsibility of flooding spots on officials, on his visit to inspect nullah cleaning work in the city last week. “If a spot remains flood free the official concerned will be rewarded, and if it floods he/she will face action,” Shinde said on Saturday.
‘Many issues to blame’
“There are multiple issues that lead to flooding. Some may be not in the hands of particular officials like heavy to heavy rain, pumping stations not working, choking up of nullahs at another point, etc. But the officials can look into the arrangement of water pumps, their working condition, adequate stock of diesel, etc.” said an official from the BMC.
Currently the flooding spots are tackled at two levels - the ward and the storm water drainage department (SWD). While the arrangement of water pumps is done at ward level, the cleaning of nullahs and the operation of water pumping stations are the responsibilities of the SWD department. “We will assign one officer for each flooding spot and the list will be circulated before monsoon. The officials will be from the wards as well as the SWD. There are around 87 flooding spots in the city,” said P Velarasu, additional commissioner.
Three engineers, two sub-engineers and one assistant engineer from the H west ward received show cause notices after a drain was found filthy during the CM’s visit. The BMC also slapped a Rs 1 lakh fine on the contractor. “There are already 380 vacancies in engineer’s posts, including 250 vacancies of civil and junior engineering cadre. Also, about 130 posts of the technical and electrical department are vacant. Due to these vacancies, the workload of junior and secondary engineers has increased vastly. The BMC administration has to appoint engineers and then start giving extra responsibility to officials,” said Sainath Rajadhyaksha of the Municipal Engineers’ Union. He added that the union raised the issue on September 13, 2022 with CM Shinde, but till now there hasn’t been a move from the BMC even after the instructions from the CM.
No of spots prone to flooding in the city