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NMMC FAILS TO KEEP ITS PROMISE OF RESTORING HOLDING POND AT VASHI DESPITE ONE MONTH

holding-pond1NMMC administration’s reluctance to immediately restore the holding pond at Vashi has raised fingers of allegations that clearly palm greasing is violating rules and this monsoon if water logging takes place at Vashi, blame NMMC for it. recalled that on April 4 2009, NMTV News had aired a report that was an example of how tax payer’s money is often drained in the name of infrastructure projects and amenities. An example of this was the illegal construction of a garden within the holding pond at Vashi’s mini seashore. Meant for the purpose of a holding pond, NMMC was handed over this pond from CIDCO on the condition that it was categorically stated that NMMC would use the holding pond only as a holding pond and for no other purpose. However, you’ll be shocked to know that instead of preserving this holding pond as it was utmost significant for draining out monsoon water in Vashi’s Sector 5, 6, 7 and 8, NMMC administration instead drew an illegal plan of constructing an 85000 sq. ft garden within the holding pond area. As a result the capacity of the holding pond has dangerously reduced while the threat of flooding to the surrounding sectors has increased tremendously. This misuse of public funds was exposed through a RTI by social activist Sandeep Thakur. After the RTI and Commissioner Vijay Nahata’s visit to the site, the NMMC administration has accepted its folly and assured that NMMC is in fact now going to clear the area that has been filled, demolish the wall that is preventing free flow of water at the newly developed garden and restore the original capacity of the holding pond. While NMMC had assured to do this before monsoon, a look at the present status of the pond tells a different story. The pond is far from being restored and for now NMMC has only made gaps in the wall obstructing the flow of water. Nothing much otherwise has been done to the entire illegally built garden despite NMMC’s assurances. Commissioner Vijay Nahata however says that his team is working on increasing the capacity of the holding pond. While one can see some work going on at the site, looks like the promise of NMMC administration to rectify their mistake and completely restore the holding pond is still very far from reality. And if at all NMMC does not restore the pond and lets the garden stay, then maintaining the illegal garden would continue to squander public taxes’ down the drain. Its been a month since we flashed the first report on the illegal garden built by NMMC at the Miniseashore holding pond at Vashi but till date the work done by NMMC here is negligible. This compels one to believe that the corrupt officials – corporators nexus might just result in increasing chances of flooding at Vashi. With cameraperson Abhay Prasad, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.

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