EVEN AFTER extending the deadline by 10 days, the BMC still has to achieve an unlikely target of completing work on 83 roads within seven days, before monsoon hits the city. While the work on major nullahs and the Mithi river is nearing completion, the work on minor nullahs is, however, lagging behind.
After the revised calculations, work on 135 roads, out of a total 376 which the BMC had intended to complete before the monsoon, has been postponed. Work on a total of 792 roads and at least 120 junctions will now be taken up only from October onwards.
Officials in the storm water drains department said that as per the figures recorded on May 31, 94.5 per cent of the desilting work in the Mithi river and Vakola and at least 89 per cent of the work on major nullahs had been completed. As for the minor nullahs, at least 5000 metric tonnes of silt have been removed so far and 50 per cent of the work is yet to be completed.
Owing to the delayed issuing of work orders, the work in the eastern suburbs is lagging behind. Work in at least 53% of desilting work in the major nullahs in the island city have been completed. “At least 1.01 lakh metric tonnes of silt have been removed from the Mithi river and at least 1.82 lakh metric tonnes of silt have been removed from major nullahs. Most of the silt has been taken out and now has to be transported,” said Laxman Vhatkar, chief engineer of the storm water drains department.
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Out of at least 53,000 trees, which are either dead or require trimming, 20,500 trees are yet to be pruned and 61 “dangerous” trees are to be dealt with. Till date, at least 510 dead trees have been removed and at least 32,000 trees have been trimmed.
The health department, however, has taken added measures to prepare for the monsoon which is expected to yield above average rainfall, this year. Apart from reserving at least 2200 beds in KEM, Nair hospital, Kasturba, Sion hospital and 18 peripheral hospitals in the city for monsoon related exigencies, the BMC has asked 45 trust-owned hospitals, like Jaslok and Bombay hospital, to set aside a few beds as well.
“We have also asked the hospitals to take up judicious use of platelets and have given out public messages, requesting them to not keep stagnant water,” said Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer.