The storm WATER drains department has been unable to complete the de-silting work of drainage nullahs by Wednesday, thus failing to meet the deadline of May 30 set by the civic administration for all pre-monsoon works in the city.
Among other parts of the city, the western suburbs will bear the brunt of the delay as by May 25, only 20 per cent of the de-silting work of Mithi river was completed owing to which flooding is possible in Bandra, Khar, Santa Cruz and Andheri this year.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had set a target for contractors of removing 14,400 metric tonnes of silt from the 2200 metre long stretch of Mithi river before the monsoon arrives. While by May 25 last year, the BMC claimed that 76 per cent of the de-silting work of the river was completed, this year, the contractors were only able to complete 20 per cent. Civic officials blamed the standing committee for the delay. “The contractors were only able to work for 14 days since the tenders were delayed waiting for the standing committee’s approval,” one official said.
In comparison to the progress of the work in the western suburbs, according to the BMC, 99.39 per cent of the work has been completed in the Mithi in the city area while in the eastern suburbs, 75.84 per cent of the work has been completed. Even though opposition parties including Congress claim that only 25 per cent of the work of major nullahs has been completed, the BMC claims that around 74 per cent of the work in the city area, 86 per cent in the western suburbs and 92 per cent of the de-silting work has already been completed. Civic officials stated that considering that the India Meteorological Department has stated that the rains are expected in the city from June 9, the remaining work is expected to be completed by June 7.
As part of the monsoon preparedness plan, civic officials have identified 270 chronic waterlogging spots mostly in the eastern suburbs. “The waterlogging spots will affect traffic at 66 locations and we have increased the number of de-watering pumps to 313 which have been installed at 219 locations,” said the official.
This year, the disaster management department has identified six days of high tide in June, six in July, four in August and two in September. The highest tide measuring 4.97 metres is expected to hit the city on June 25.
The scenario is similar for ongoing road works in the city. The BMC claimed that 90 per cent of the work has been completed and the remaining will be completed before the monsoon arrives. Out of the 103 road works taken up under the category of “Priority I”, 248 under “Priority II” (both categories comprise of resurfacing work taken up before and after the civic elections) and 415 under “Project Works”, the BMC is yet to complete work on 267 of them. While seven roads under the “Priority I” category are yet to be taken up, work on 168 roads under “Priority II” and 92 under the “Project Works” category is yet to begin.