BMC,MMRDA fight again delays pre-monsoon Mithi desilting

Just over a month is left for the monsoon but BMC and MMRDA are still fighting over who will clean a six-km stretch of the Mithi river vital to prevent inundation.

Written by Express News Service | Published: April 27, 2013 2:46:10 am

Just over a month is left for the monsoon but BMC and MMRDA are still fighting over who will clean a six-km stretch of the Mithi river vital to prevent inundation.

The Mahim Causeway to CST Road stretch in Kurla is in MMRDA jurisdiction under the Mithi rejuvenation project.

With corporators unwilling to let the civic body take up the work,as decided by the two agencies last year,BMC and MMRDA have approached the state chief secretary for a solution.

“The MMRDA commissioner has written to the chief secretary,so has municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte,seeking an instruction to the civic standing committee to approve the contract for desilting the six-km stretch,” an MMRDA engineer executing Mithi rejuvenation said.

The chief secretary being chairman of Mithi River Development and Protection Authority (MRDPA) can intervene,he said.

L S Vatkar,chief engineer of stormwater drains at BMC,said the civic body had left the decision to the chief secretary and MMRDA.

“We have done our job by making a budget provision and inviting tenders for the work. We can’t do anything if the standing committee is opposed. We have already started work on the part of the river under our jurisdiction and should complete it by June 6. Work on the six-km stretch will be difficult to complete before monsoon,unless it starts soon,” he said.

BMC and MMRDA have been at loggerheads for nearly seven years over desilting of this stretch that will cost roughly Rs 25 crore,resulting in a delay every year.

Last year,MMRDA gave an ultimatum to BMC saying it was desilting Mithi for the last time and from next year,the civic body should take over. The authority made it plain the stretch was in BMC jurisdiction and the civic body should carry out its responsibility.

A meeting of MRDPA later decided BMC should also undertake desilting of the river part in MMRDA jurisdiction.

Accordingly,BMC made a provision in its budget but the civic standing committee opposed the work insisting MMRDA should pay for it.

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