Three men drowned off Versova beach on Saturday afternoon near the Barista gate. The trio, identified as Rohit Tiwari, Satyaprakash Chawan and Priyank Yadav, had come to the city recently from Bhopal. The men were staying with one of their friends in Model Town, Versova.
At the time of going to press, the body of one had been recovered and the search for the other two was on. Fire department officials and disaster management authorities said that the body recovered was yet to be identified.
“In all, there were five boys consuming alcohol, seated on the rocks at the beach. They were initially removed from the spot by the lifeguard on duty but they returned after some time to the same spot. Of the five, three boys were swept into the sea,” said a fire officer.
Meanwhile, after complaints from ward-level civic officials against contractors for not filling up potholes despite the roads on which the potholes have developed being covered under the defect liability period, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta asked the Roads Department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to appoint liaison officers in all the zones to get the potholes filled and the roads repaired immediately.
Mehta conducted a monthly review meeting on Saturday and officials from various city wards raised the issue of contractors not filling potholes on time. “Though there are fewer potholes on the roads maintained by the civic body as compared to roads maintained by other government agencies, the potholes on the roads covered under the defect liability period are not being filled by the contractors on time. This is an issue across the city. Either site engineers are not available or people do not respond to our requests about potholes. Sometimes we have to use mail to reach them,” said a senior civic official.
Officials added that despite the BMC’s initiatives to rein in the road contractors, it was surprising that they were not cooperating.
According to the roads department, there are a total of 2379 potholes across the city of which only 164 are yet to be attended to. Of 2379, total 180 potholes are reported on the roads falling under the defect liability period and only 8 of these complaints remain pending.
However, civic officials claimed that despite heavy rainfall on Friday morning, water was pumped out within hours from the water-logged spots, including Hindmata. “Last year, it would take around 11 to 12 hours to make the water recede. But this year, with the Britannia pumping station functioning, the stormwater has been pumped out in a few hours. Also, there has been more rainfall this year compared to the last but less number of water-logging complaints,” said a senior official.
Mehta has also asked the zonal deputy municipal commissioners to visit dispensaries, health posts and maternity homes to ensure that minimum required items were available with them.