May 19, 2021 4:13:42 am
With heavy rains in the wake of cyclone Tauktae leading to waterlogging in several low-lying areas of Mumbai, corporators of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday slammed the agency and raised questions over its exercise of cleaning nullahs ahead of the monsoon.
Samajwadi Party’s Rais Shaikh wrote a letter to municipal commissioner I S Chahal demanding action against civic officials for alleged negligence in nullah-cleaning work. Shaikh said that pre-monsoon work is not being taken seriously by officials. “In a single day, a few hours of rain flooded most parts of the city. Drains were choked, streets were flooded for hours. Mumbai Central area was severely affected. Cleaning of nullah is not up to the mark and even pumping stations are not working properly. There is negligence on part of officials concerned,” said Shaikh.
Areas such as Azad Road, Morland Road, Nair Road and Belasis Road were flooded as heavy rains brought in by Tauktae lashed the city on Monday.
Opposition leader in the BMC, Ravi Raja, said it was shameful for a city like Mumbai to face waterlogging every year despite spending huge amounts of money on cleaning of drains. “If the administration is saying it has cleaned the nullahs, why was the city flooded yesterday (Monday)? We face the same problem every year, yet there is no solution,” he said.
He warned that Sunday’s flooding was a “trailer” and that the situation could get even more challenging when monsoon arrives.
BJP MLA Ashish Shelar has also questioned pre-monsoon work in the city.
The BMC officials, meanwhile, maintained that nullah-cleaning work was going on as per schedule. “We have completed 80% of the nullah-cleaning exercise ahead of monsoon. Minor cleaning work is being undertaken by local wards and that too is progressing according to the schedule,” said Laxmikant Kamlapurkar, Chief Engineer, Storm Water Drain department.
On Monday, the Disaster Management Cell recorded waterlogging in more than 20 spots across the city.
Earlier, mayor Kishori Pednekar inspected nullah-cleaning work in several areas and expressed satisfaction over its progress.
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