The issue was raised by Shiv Sena Councillor Shubha Raul at the general body meeting of the corporation. The former city mayor alleged that the Environment department was severely short of staff, equipment and necessary infrastructure.
“The Environment division operates out of the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department, instead of working as an independent department. The division lacks necessary expertise and manpower. It doesn’t even have enough computers,” said Raul. She also alleged that BMC’s environmental workshop at Worli had dilapidated and become defunct.
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BJP corporator Vinod Shelar alleged that the environment department did not serve any purpose, other than compiling data. “We need the administration to act on environmental issues,” he said.
The corporators said that the shortcomings of the department had a direct impact on the atmosphere of Mumbai and the health of Mumbaikars. “Many industries are polluting the city without immunity,” a corporator alleged. “Environmental norms are being flouted to the detriment of the people’s health,” another added.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh, who was present at the meeting, said, “The administration has so far provided the department with three computers and will soon give them another. We will work towards addressing the shortcomings of the Worli workshop. We are also in the process of establishing a new workshop.”