The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will undertake desilting of major drains beginning this week. The civic body plans to complete the works by May end – the work had gone on till first/second week of June until last year.
Additional Municipal Commissioner SVR Srinivas, who heads the storm water drain department, confirmed the same and added that desilting of minor drains would also be undertaken simultaneously.
"We plan to begin the works from first week of April. Also, we want to complete the pre-monsoon desilting before advent of the rainy season. This is mainly because removing and transporting silt becomes difficult during monsoon," Srinivas told dna. The official said he has already instructed all the ward offices to begin clearing minor drains to meet the target.
Meanwhile, Srinivas added that the corporation alone would clear slush from 187-km stretch of Mithi river, a practice that began last year. Prior to 2013, BMC would clear nearly two third of the stretch, while the responsibility to clean the remaining portion was with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). "This year too, we will clean the Mithi river," Srinivas said.
In addition to this, as declared by the BMC in its budget for 2014-15, the concept of catchment engineers will be introduced from the coming week. As part of the same, 80 sub-engineers will be appointed across 122 chronic water-logging locations identified by the civic body. The sub-engineers will be responsible for cleaning and desilting of minor and road side drains in areas designated to him/her.
Residents though are suspicious of the implementation part. "Every year the BMC claims it takes adequate effort to clean nullahs. However, our experience is otherwise. The major drains are not cleaned properly. Same is the case with minor drains, which causes flooding in city. Do whatever, the BMC must ensure that people are not troubled," said Andheri resident Rohan Sawant.
Last year, the BMC could undertake the clearing work only during May due to delay in completing tender process. The problem had cropped up also because there was lack of space to dispose silt as BMC's dump yards had reached their optimum level.
Operation no flood
38 - 38 major nullahs like Mithi river in the city, measuring up to 319 km
119 - minor drains, measuring up to 160 km
2,000 - length of road side drains in kms
3.97 - lakh cubic metre of silt removed by BMC last year
107 - money in crore spent by BMC on cleaning drains in 2013