Acting on complaints made at the recent civic general body meeting regarding poor nullah desilting work,Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu asked BMC to withhold payments to private contractors appointed to desilt major and minor drains around Mumbai.
Municipal councillors asked BMC to ensure all desilting work,meant to be carried out before,during and after the monsoon,is finished before payments are released. I have told the administration to wait till inspection is over. Normally,cheques are released before we ascertain the work has been carried out, said Prabhu.
During the recent general body meeting,Samajwadi corporator Ashraf Azmi of L ward alleged contractors had cleaned only 50 per cent of silt from storm water drains. He also claimed civic officials were hand-in-glove with private contractors so the contractors are paid despite unfinished work.
With more than 30 per cent of the work remaining,contractors are lining up to be paid. There is still one month of work left before they should be paid Azmi said.
However,deputy municipal commissioner and chief engineer of storm water drains L S Vhatkar said the drains have been cleaned as per schedule. He said,We are preparing a report of the work we carried out before and during the monsoon. We have before-after photos of all drains. The Mayor and municipal commissioner had even inspected the sites.
Congress corporator Pravin Chedda said,On paper,de-silting work may seem complete,but if you go and look at the drains you will see they are still clogged and in need of more work.
Standing committee member and M-east ward corporator Rais Shaikh added,The desilting has not been carried out. I complained to the Mayor 10 days ago and have been calling every three days since. Corrective steps are being taken,but at a slow pace.