June 8, 2021 10:41:27 pm
A DAY after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a heavy rainfall warning from June 10 and the imminent arrival of monsoon, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal held a review meeting Tuesday with senior officials of BEST, MMRCL, MMRDA, Central & Western Railway and Mumbai Police to take stock of pre-monsoon preparedness in the city. The head of the city’s disaster management authority, Chahal called for better coordination among all agencies during the monsoon.
The BMC officials told Chahal it has exceeded the desilting work set for this year and removed 3.24 lakh metric tonne silt from major nullahs under the pre-monsoon desilting work. This year, it has upped the quantity of silt to be removed up to 35 per cent, the civic officials said.
“In all, 4.13 lakh metric tonne silt is the target to remove from nullah this year. Before monsoon, we were supposed to remove 3.11 lakh metric tonne, however, by May 31, BMC-appointed contractors had removed 3.24 lakh metric tonne,” a civic official said. In the first week of June, the BMC removed an additional 17,297 metric tonne silt from various nullah. “The overall desilting work is satisfactory and it will help rainwater to recede faster,” the official said.
The civic body also said dewatering pumps have been put on standby at waterlogging spots.
Chahal, meanwhile, directed officials to avoid a rerun of waterlogging at Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central and J J Hospital at Agripada like last year. He instructed Metro officials to ensure proper barricading near ongoing construction works.
Targeting the BMC over intense waterlogging at Hindmata and Mumbai Central areas, BJP leader Bhalchandra Shirsat said, “Only 50 per cent of the Hindmata underground water tank project has been completed and the BMC is going to spend Rs 150 crore on the project. A proposal of Rs 191 crore will be tabled in the Standing Committee for the appointment of a consultant to work on diverting rainwater from Hindmata to Dadar west into the sea. If the BMC has already completed 50 per cent work on the Hindmata project, then why do they need to appoint a consultant now?”
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