With the lockdown getting extended by another fortnight, various city agencies have started mobilising labour and are drawing up plans to execute crucial pre-monsoon works.
These works, which involve cleaning drains, nullahs and fixing potholes, need to be completed by June, when monsoon arrives.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will be starting work soon, said Metropolitan Commissioner R.A. Rajeev. “We are in the process of procuring all the requisite permissions and passes for the various works. Our job is to bring all existing works across the city to a safe level, before the onset of the monsoons. We will be ensuring the safety of workers and maintaining social distancing, while executing these works,” he said.
The authority has two arterial roads — the Eastern Express Highway and the Western Express Highway — under its jurisdiction and will also ensure that any potholes on the roads are filled and nullahs along them are desilted.
Gearing up for rains
The Railways too are gearing up for the same. The Mumbai Divisions of both, the Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR), are putting in place a plan to execute pre-monsoon works.
Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer, WR, said all essential works will be undertaken. The works primarily involve cleaning of culverts along the tracks and nullahs within Railway’s jurisdiction and fixing leaky roofs at various stations. Flood prone areas such as Sion, Nallasopara, and Badlapur will also be given extra attention.
“We have started some essential works in limited capacity. We are already undertaking critical maintenance works related to freight operations,” Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer, CR, said.
In 2019, the CR was severely hit by rains with nearly 1,000 passengers on board the Mahalaxmi Express having to be rescued from Badlapur. The rains had also cut off rail traffic to the city from Pune, and as an extension from large parts of the country, for nearly 12 days due to multiple landslides and boulder falls in the ghat section between Mumbai and Pune.
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