They made hundreds of promises and spent crores of public money, but the civic body has maintained an unblemished record of being absolutely clueless as to how to keep the city monsoon-ready
If one were to read statements by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in which they claim to be prepared for the monsoon, one would think the civic body is trying to become a parody of itself. They seem to be succeeding exceedingly well at the task.
Yet again (we’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve said this), the BMC’s shoddy work has been exposed by just a single day of rainfall. mid-day took a rain check on every aspect that the BMC had promised Mumbaikars they would take care of, and found the civic body had failed on every count – be it roads, trees, or nullahs.
Nullahs and drains
If the BMC are to be believed, they have completed 99.39 per cent of the work of de-silting and cleaning nullahs and drains. However, roads were waterlogged within a couple of hours of heavy showers and one could see several places where silt had been piled up and kept beside the nullahs Andheri, Malad, Goregaon, Kurla, Vikhroli being some of the examples.
This dirt, naturally, mixed with the overflowing water, forcing citizens to wade through muck, garbage and all kinds of trash on the road. This is apart from the unholy stink it raises and provides a healthy breeding ground for mosquitoes and their ilk.
Neither were the nullahs completely rid of silt – as the BMC had promised they would be by May 31. In fact, despite the rain gods giving the civic body almost a month of extra time, nothing has been done. The BMC spends about Rs 90 crore annually on cleaning the major and minor nullahs, and an additional of R2.5 crore for cleaning the Mithi River.
The BMC dug up nearly 328 roads around May — barely a month before monsoons usually arrive — and about 400 roads were resurfaced. Yet, the first showers caused potholes on these ‘newly made’ roads. Nearly 1,047 potholes were reported since June, till yesterday, and the rains have just arrived.
The civic body had planned to let the ward office take care of the potholes, and had set out a total budget of Rs 28 crore for repair work. So, when the work is given to wards, there is a fear of a lack of monitoring of the progress of the work. Till yesterday 747 potholes had been repaired. The suburbs also noticed a cave-in on Wednesday evening at Tukaram Mhatre Road near Dahisar Bridge where the road now has an eight-feet-wide hole.
Nearly 33 trees in the city collapsed yesterday, probably tired of the civic body’s apathy and lack of concern for citizens. The collapses happened in a span of three hours of rainfall — 14 in the Western suburbs, and 11 in the Eastern parts and 8 in island city. The BMC didn’t trim their branches properly.
The weather forecast for today is occasional showers in the city and suburbs, with a couple of heavy spells. High tides are predicted at 3.12 am of 3.48 metres, and at 4.02 pm of 3.94 metres.