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NMMC’S RELUCTANCE TO REMOVE ILLEGAL GARDEN FROM HOLDING POND MAY FLOOD VASHI THIS MONSOON

pond-2The NMMC Commissioner Vijay Nahata had issued an order to remove the illegal garden built within the holding pond at Vashi in March this year. It’s been nearly two months to that order and there seems to be a clear reluctance on part of NMMC officials to execute their chief’s order. Where there are no holding ponds, NMMC wants to make illegal road in the name of accessibility and where there are holding ponds, NMMC wants to reduce the capacity of the pond by building an illegal garden. That’s the apathy of affairs in NMMC today. If you don’t know already, then you’ll be shocked to know that this garden built by your taxes within the holding pond at Vashi is illegal. The NMMC administration had no powers to build the garden within the holding pond, which has reduced the capacity of the holding pond raising flood threats this monsoon. But it did and when the same was exposed in a RTI by Sandeep Thakur, the NMMC immediately promised to rectify its mistake by removing the wall and garden built inside the holding pond. However, it’s been nearly two months to that decision and NMMC officials are still reluctant to rectify their folly. Despite continuous follow up of the case by NMTV News and Sandeep Thakur, the work at the site is moving at snail pace speed without any justification. Sandeep Thakur informed us that he has asked the NMMC officials to complete the work fast before monsoons hit the city. It may be recalled that Commissioner Vijay Nahata had said that their department was going to remove the obstructions within the holding pond. However, Sandeep Thakur says that its not just obstructions but the entire garden, debris and wall that has to be removed so that the holding pond is restored to its original capacity. While this is case of literal criminal wastage of public funds, the reluctance NMMC is showing in removing the illegal garden it has built within the holding pond area poses as a major threat for flooding in adjacent sectors of Vashi during monsoon. Had the City Engineer Mohan Dagaonkar had the right conscience, he would have demonstrated urgency not in building an illegal road in CRZ area but would have had the guts to remove this illegal garden from a legitimate holding pond. Till date unfortunately, no corporator has taken up the issue with the NMMC administration. With cameraperson Abhay Prasad, Zeba Warsia for NMTV News.

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