De-silting row: Behind time, committee probing pre-monsoon work demands two-month extension

The committee also failed to measure the amount of silt removed and the amount dumped in areas outside Mumbai.

Written by Tanushree Venkatraman | Mumbai | Published: July 2, 2015 2:22 am
bmc, brihanmumbai municipal corporation, de silting, mumbai desilting, bmc desilting, bmc desilting probe, bmc news, mumbai news The five-member committee constituted to probe the pre-monsoon de-silting work undertaken by the BMC.

Failing to submit its report within the assigned time, the five-member committee constituted to probe the pre-monsoon de-silting work undertaken by the BMC submitted an interim report to Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta on Tuesday evening. According to the seven-page report uploaded on the BMC website, the committee could not study relevant documents in the assigned period of one-week.

According to the report, the committee could not study the relevant logsheets, weighbridge slips to calculate the amount of silt that was carried by the trucks, daily project register, transport register, online records, photo and video records taken before, during and after the de-silting work among other documents. The committee also failed to measure the amount of silt removed and the amount dumped in areas outside Mumbai.

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The committee has chosen three contractors each from the island city, eastern and western suburbs to conduct the inquiry. The report states that the total silt removed exceeds over 2 lakh metres. “It therefore makes it essential to study the logsheets, weighbridge pass and records which will require a long time,” the report states.

Following allegations of shoddy pre-monsoon work that led to heavy inundation on June 19, Mehta set up a committee under Deputy Municipal Commissioner Prakash Patil to probe the de-silting work. The committee was expected to submit its final report by June 30.

The committee, which demanded a two month extension, has now been granted time till August 17 to submit its final report. The committee’s demand for an extension invited a severe backlash from corporators across parties. Sandeep Deshpande, MNS corporator said, “The report only states how much silt was removed from each area, which is absurd. An investigation means the panel has to check if it was properly done by contractors.”

Vinod Shelar, BJP corporator said, “By the time the committee submits its report, monsoons will end. Will then the actual work be undertaken by the administration?” The standing committee members demanded an immediate adjournment of the meeting on Wednesday on the issue.

tanushree.venkatraman@expressindia.com

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