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CM to play peacemaker in war of city guardians

In a bid to bring an end to the ongoing spat between Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority...

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
May 11, 2009 5:07:28 am

bmc vs metropolitan authority : Chavan to meet officials today

In a bid to bring an end to the ongoing spat between Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA),Chief Minister Ashok Chavan will hold a meeting with officials of the two agencies on Monday. The government wants to ensure that the city doesn’t suffer during the monsoon with representatives of both the agencies indulging in a blame game.

Chavan will meet municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak,MMRDA commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad,Mayor Shubha Raul and other officials to sort out the coordination issues. The past week had witnessed simmering rivalry between BMC and MMRDA,which began soon after the latter was accused of damaging a water pipeline twice at Lalbaug and thus causing inconvenience to citizens. The war of words worsened when Raul said the MMRDA will be held responsible if the city suffers floods this monsoon as utility lines clog culverts in many of the roads.

“There is no co-ordination amongst the different agencies in the city and this meeting is of utmost importance,” Raul said. “Citizens do not know and care if the work is being carried out by railways,MMRDA or PWD for they only know that the BMC is responsible for maintaining the city. If there is any problem during monsoon,it will be the BMC who will be blamed and the MMRDA has just created a new headache for us and it is impossible for us to fix it at the eleventh hour,” the Mayor said. She was referring to culverts on LBS Road,which had underground utilities at 11 spots that could prevent the flow of rainwater during monsoon. The MMRDA was given charge of 18 roads,including the Eastern and Western Express Highways,to widen,remove bottlenecks and improve their condition. After being at loggerheads for more than two years,12 roads were handed back to the BMC last year.

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However,in a letter to the BMC,the MMRDA officials said the Mayor should first listen to civic officials on how the BRIMSTOWAD project was delayed for over a decade,which could be a reason for flooding. In case of the pipeline burst,where the MMRDA officials will be made to pay the money spent on repairs,the agency said in a press note that the BMC lacked “administrative etiquette” and maintained that organisational wars should not be fought through the media.

Phatak and Gaikwad have,however,downplayed the incident. “Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan,so whenever there are problems in the city there will be a blame game. But these issues can be solved through dialogue,” Phatak had told a news conference on Friday.

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