These public complaints have reached the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) via a dedicated helpline started by the civic body for citizens. PMC claimed 105 complaints were resolved by Friday.
The statement issued by the civic administration stated that the cleaning was done at 382 culverts, 48,000 drainage chambers, and 184km-long stormwater drains.
“The majority of the complaints have been resolved. The civic administration has set up a decentralised mechanism for fast action on the complaints. The efforts to resolve the issues are jointly taken by ward offices and also by the head offices of the department concerned,” said Ganesh Sonune, head of the PMC’s disaster management department.
According to activists, though the PMC often makes such claims about completing pre-monsoon works, their quality is shoddy and a matter of concern.
Residents demanded a dedicated system to resolve issues at chronic spots. “The situation does not improve on the ground level as far as cleaning of nullas is concerned. Every time, a temporary action is taken after a complaint is raised, but things go back to square one after a couple of days,” said Vijay Oswal, a shopowner at Timber Market.
PMC officials said that the PMC will restart the drive to clean nullahs and drains after the rainy season starts. “Issues like choking of nullahs by plastic or other materials may crop up. So, the civic administration will again carry out cleaning of such locations so that flash floods don’t occur,” said a senior PMC official.
According to PMC officials, the role of citizens is very important as far as the cleanliness of nullahs and stormwater drains is concerned. Many citizens are throwing garbage at these natural and man-made streams that are used for rainwater discharging. “It is making it difficult for civic authorities to complete the pre-monsoon works,” an official said. PMC officials said that they have identified 127 new chronic spots across civic areas that may face waterlogging during the rainy season. According to PMC officials, the spots have been identified based on citizens’ inputs as well as recent history.
Vivek Velankar of citizens’ group Sajag Nagrik Manch said that the civic administration is not carrying out the pre-monsoon works properly, which leads to water logging and flash floods. “The standards set by various agencies and experts are not followed while carrying out the works. The trash removed from the nullahs and drains is kept at the same spot. It is not disposed of properly, which again goes into the nullahs and causes the choking of these streams,” he said.
He added that contractors and civic officials who have not performed their duties properly should be taken to task. The senior officials should also be blamed for this and held responsible, he said, adding that it will help create deterrence.