Another case of NMMC’s negligence or deliberate connivance is at the de-silting work of the holding pond at sector 8 Vashi which now has been abandoned by NMMC. NMMC decided to abandon the work after an RTI enquiry filed by social activist Sandeep Thakur, saving itself an embarrassment. NMMC has yet again proven that the proposals and work tenders issued by the civic body in a reckless manner or with deliberate connivance. This was once again exposed when NMMC abandoned its ongoing de-silting work of the holding pond located at sector 8, Vashi. Few months back, NMMC had passed the proposal of de-silting this holding pond at a cost of Rs 54 lakhs. Even the work order for the same was issued and work began at the holding pond site. During this time, social activist Sandeep Thakur raised the concern of cleaning this holding pond located at sector 8 Vashi while the bigger holding pond at sector 10, which is interconnected with this smaller holding pond, was then encroached upon by an illegal garden. Through an RTI filed by Sandeep Thakur, it was revealed that Rs 39.36 lakh was spent in the year 2006 to desilt the pond as well as construct additional facilities to save the quantum of desilting work and expenditure for the coming years. The cost and work saving facility in 2006 involved construction of one sump – a low space built to collect any undesirable liquids, such as water or chemicals – each at 10 ft depth below the pond level at the three entry points to the sector 8 holding ponds. With the construction of the new facility, water from the storm water drainages of the city enter the sumps first. The silt is automatically deposited in the sumps and only the water enters the holding pond. So from next year, only the concrete sumps are required to be cleaned for desilting and not the entire pond. Thus this construction should have logically led to drastic reduction in the quantum of periodic desilting work, as well as financial expenditure. Sandeep Thakur also had sought relevant information like details of contracts for the work awarded ever since NMMC took over the holding pond from CIDCO. However, after receiving the RTI, NMMC went on backfoot on the work, for which it had already issued the work order. Going by the inherent discrepancies pointed out in the nature of work at an exorbitant cost, NMMC just abandoned the work. Sandeep Thakur says that he had received a meaningless reply to his RTI and that he will further confirm on how many times the sumps were cleared since its inception in 2006. The issue has brought to the light how proposals are casually passed in NMMC. With bureau inputs, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
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