In a move that can prevent another de-silting scam in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the authorities will cover drains with removable acrylic sheets to prevent garbage dumping in drains.
Civic officials said that the plan is a pilot project and will start in October post the de-silting of the drains.
In the recently released BMC budget, Rs 9 crore fund allocations for covering of drains has been included, whereas, Rs 475 crore have been allocated for Storm Water Drain (SWD) department. A senior civic official said, “Every year we de-silt drains across the city prior to monsoon. It was noticed that the drains are again filled with household garbage and several other unwanted substances a few days after they were de-silted. This posed as a hindrance for us in clearing the drains every year. Following this, we decided to include this idea on experimental basis to curb the menace.”
Sanjay Deshmukh, the Additional Municipal Commissioner, who is heading the SWD department said, “We have currently identified two major drains in Mulund and Kandivali where the project will be implemented. If we get satisfying results, we will then implement it on a larger scale.”
Another civic official said that the project will also help eliminate of foul smell and will minimise mosquito nuisance in the surrounding area of the drains. However, activists have raised concerns whether the project would succeed.
Ramsey Rebello, Kandivali resident, said, “The civic body should restrict the slum encroachment near drains which will majorly solve the issue. The slums dwellers throw garbage directly into the drains.”
“Also, the authorities should start penalising the factories that release chemicals into nearby drains and rivers. The existing rivers of the city have turned into a nullah and the drains that are in poor condition.”
Johnson and Johnson and Pancholia Nullah at Mulund and Kandivali have been chosen for the project.