Mumbai, (The Hindu): Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar has warned the State government that it will be responsible if the city floods this year. He was referring to the ongoing Metro work.
On Wednesday, Mr. Mahadeshwar visited areas where work on removal of silt is going on. At Kala Nagar in Bandra (east), he said the heavy roadwork undertaken by Metro will prevent water from being drained away.
“Most of roads have been dug up. At many places, Metro has undertaken haphazard trenching. Our storm water drains have burst on many occasions. What can the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) do? If Mumbai floods this year, the State will be responsible,” Mr. Mahadeshwar said.
Even the Western Express Highway and Link Road have been dug up, slowing traffic to a crawl, he said.
BJP hits back
The BJP, on the other hand, accused the Mayor of shifting blame and trying to shield contractors, corrupt officers and politicians.
“There was no Metro work in 2005 when Mumbai had a deluge. There was no Metro work in 2012 as well. Why is the Mayor blaming Metro work? The BMC has not been able to complete a number of works planned as per the Brihanmumbai Stormwater Disposal System. Some pumping stations don’t even work. The Shiv Sena cannot bear to see Metro work going on in full swing,” party leader Manoj Kotak said.
Mr. Kotak said the Mayor should focus on clearing of silt, which has only been completed up to 50%. “It is the BJP that exposed corruption in silt-removal work. The State is capable of handling Metro work,” he said.
So far, the BMC has completed around 50% work on removing silt. The Mayor expressed confidence that 70% work will be over by the end of this month. He recommended that action be taken against contractors if piles of silt lead to flooding.
The BMC has had meetings with stakeholders like the MMRDA about monsoon
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