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Friday, May 24, 2013

Same old story: Rain just 2 weeks away, but civic body yet to complete desilting, repairs

Mumbai: Even as the rains are expected to hitthecity aroundJune6,only 30%of thedesilting work at Mithi river's crucial 17.8km stretch and50%desilting of all major nullahs has been completed in the name of the city's monsoon-preparedness. Corporators monitoring thedesilting work areskepticalwhether thecivicbody will meetitsJune6deadline.
   According to the storm water drain (SWD) department data, a total of 328km and 7.4 lakh cubic metre silt should be removed. Till date, though, desilting of only 160km of nullahs is complete and 3.9 lakh cubic metre silt has been removed. The BMC should complete70%desilting before monsoon,20%during theseason and10% after the rains.
   "How does one estimate how much silt hasbeen removed?If you visit major nullahs, you will see that no desilting work has been done.Thereis nologicin calculating percentage. It needs urgent attention and I request the mayor to hold an urgent meeting tomorrow. There will be floods, at least in my ward in Mankhurd," said Rais Shaikh, corporator
and SamajwadiParty leader.
   BJP corporator Manoj Kotak added the question of completing 50%desilting workof major nullahsdoes not arise astheBMCstarteditsworklate."I'veobservedthe quantum of silttobe removedin my area in Mulund.Only floating material and a partof the nullah'ssilt has been removed. We are keeping an eye on the work and we will tell the officials to complete it by around June 5. They can meet the deadlineonly if they pickup pace."
   L S Vhatkar, chief engineer, storm water drains,said,"Westarteddesilting attheMithi on May 10 and 30% of the work is complete. We aim tocompleteitby June10."
   The BMC also plans to install dustbins along nullahs around400spotsin thecity."We noticedone metrewidthof silt and garbagein nullahswhereslumsco-existed."
   Thecleaning of nullahsisdelayeddespite the use of a robotic multi-purpose excavator and the recently procured recycling jetting machines. "The robot removed 2km silt from Mithi and 1.5km silt from Dharavi nullah. The recycling jetting machine removes 80 cubic metre(eighttrucks)of siltevery day.Itcan go to 30-foot depth and in an eight-hour shift, clean up to 10 manholes and drains up to 200 metres in length. This is useful as labourers can't enter five-foot drain chambers. So far, 100km drains andchambershavebeen desiltedin theislandcity."
   The BMC has started pothole filling, levelling of roads and resurfacing of bridges. Workis notexpectedtobecompletedin time.
   The BMC monsoon-preparedness data also shows that the number of dilapidated buildingslast year stood at931,butthis year it increasedto959.

Times View: BMC should pay contractors after work


   The BMC should ensure that contractors carry out nullah-cleaning work in right earnest and do not turn it into a money-minting exercise. The BMC should monitor the work closely and pay the contractors only after verifying the assigned work has been completed in accordance with prescribed norms. There is always scope for improvement, though the BMC always claims the city is ready to face the monsoon. Mumbaikars, on their part, should not dump garbage into drains, which only adds to the clogging.

IS THE CITY PREPARED TO TACKLE FLOODS?



CHRONIC PROBLEM AREAS


There are 223 flooding spots in the city. The major ones include Hindamata junction; Milan, Andheri and Malad subways; Sewree station area; Kalachowkie; Grant Road; Kurla; Bhandup and Ghatkopar
The number of landslide spots have increased to 226 from 178 last year. Major ones include the slum localities in Kurla, Saki Naka, Bhandup and Gilbert Hill at Andheri

BMC INITIATIVE

The BMC plans to install 220 dewatering pumps for the entire city at 179 locations. There will be one stand-by pump for each ward in case of an emergency, and two dewatering pumps for the Kurla ward, a chronic flooding spot





RIVER OF HOPE: (Left) Desilting of Mithi in progress with robotic multi-purpose excavator; (top right, file photo) chronic flooding spot at Milan subway; (below) a recycling jetting machine sucks out silt at Worli seaface



         

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