The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started the yearly ritual of cleaning all major and minor nullahs along with the Mithi river before the onset of monsoons. This year, the BMC will spend around Rs 257 crore on the cleaning work, out of which Rs 82 crore will be spent on the Mithi river alone.
Cleaning works started early this year to avoid last year’s scenario when labourers had to work in three shifts as cleaning began only in April. Around nine lakh metric tonnes of silt is removed each year, with 75% removed prior to monsoon and the rest removed during and after the monsoon. The payments to the contractors are made only after verifying the work, including pictures and videos.
Contractors hired by BMC will use manpower and machinery to remove silt, floating material such as garbage and plastic. This year, in the absence of elected representatives, BMC needs to ensure that all nullahs are well desilted to avoid shortcomings that would be raised by corporators in the civic statutory meetings.
Citizens’ role in creating a garbage problem
According to activist Godfrey Pimenta, citizens are the main cause of the problem as they throw garbage in nullahs. He suggested that BMC should put a wire mesh on the nullahs to prevent garbage from entering it. Meanwhile, Chembur resident Rajkumar Sharma also said that citizens need to learn their duty of keeping the nullahs clean.
Recent updates on the desilting work
Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects) P. Velrasu inspected the desilting work at boundary drain, Gawanpada, Mulund, and directed the officials of Storm Water Department to complete the work within the scheduled time. He also directed officials to follow precautionary measures. To ensure that there is no inconvenience to the citizens due to water inundation near Kanjurmarg East station on the way to Mumbai Suburban Local.
Inspection of Desilting Work
Shri. Ulhas Mahale, who is the deputy municipal commissioner (infrastructure), along with Shri. Prakash Sawardekar, the chief engineer (in-charge) of the stormwater department, and other officials were present on this occasion.
The BMC is working tirelessly to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to prepare for the upcoming monsoon season. The desilting work of nallahs and Mithi river is a crucial aspect of this preparation. The civic body is committed to completing the remaining desilting work in a timely manner and ensuring that citizens are informed about the ongoing desilting activities and urged to cooperate with the BMC workers to ensure a smooth and successful process.