Oppn hits out at Maha govt as heavy rains cripple Mumbai

PTI
Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Maharashtra Congess chief Ashok Chavan alleged that Bandra's Kala Nagar, where Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray resides, faced water-logging and demanded the saffron party, which heads the BMC, apologise to citizens for "submerging" the city.

MUMBAI: Opposition parties on Tuesday lashed out at the ruling Shiv Sena and BJP for the loss of lives due to wall collapse incidents in Mumbai and Pune and attributed them to "corruption".

Maharashtra Congess chief Ashok Chavan alleged that Bandra's Kala Nagar, where Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray resides, faced water-logging and demanded the saffron party, which heads the BMC, apologise to citizens for "submerging" the city.

Taking a dig at Thackeray, Chavan said Mumbai would not have flooded had the Shiv Sena chief overseen pre-monsoon drainage cleaning works instead of "taking out party MPs" to temples post Lok Sabha elections.

NCP leader Dhananjay Munde criticised the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP over water logging in Mumbai and demanded structural audits of roads, bridges and buildings in Mumbai following the wall collapse incidents.

"25 lives were lost in wall collapse incidents in Malad, Kalyan, Pune. Roads got washed away in Mumbai. Isn't corruption equally responsible for this as is rains? The government might give 'clean chit' to all responsible in this corruption. But will that bring back the lives lost? But is there any assurance that such incidents will not repeat?" Chavan tweeted.

He claimed local citizens and those from outside Mumbai are stranded at various places in the city and alleged they were not getting any help and information on when the railways will resume operations.

The former Maharashtra chief minister demanded the government take steps on a war-footing to ensure those stranded are taken to safer places.

Targeting the Shiv Sena and BJP, Munde said the two parties had previously claimed that there would be no water- logging in Mumbai.

"But parts of the city are now submerged," Munde said.

Referring to the latest wall collapse incidents, the NCP leader pitched for audits of various structures in the city.

"We have been demanding such audits in the House. But it will be possible only if the ruling parties find some time from elections," Munde quipped.

In a separate statement, Chavan alleged the BMC, under the Shiv Sena's watch, had failed miserably in giving service to the people.

Attacking the BJP, Chavan said, "It doesn't have guts to leash the Shiv Sena's corruption. Hence, Mumbaikars are now living 'Ram Bharose' (at the mercy of God)," the statement quoted Chavan as saying.

Chavan also censured Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar's reported remark that there was no water-logging in the city on Monday.

"His vision may have become weak. His remark is a sign that the sensibility has died," Chavan said in the statement.

Mumbai Congress president Milind Deora said the Malad wall collapse incident was "very saddening".

Latching on to media reports that 54,000 mangroves will be destroyed for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, Deora said such action is being planned despite this green cover protecting the financial capital from storm, waves and floods.

"Mangroves protect Mumbai from storms, winds, waves & floods. Yet, 54,000 will be razed for the bullet train. Will the train shift Mumbaikars to Ahmedabad when our city drowns? I urge @CMOMaharashtra to urgently intervene. Planting trees across Maharashtra won't save Mumbai," former Union minister Deora said on Twitter.

Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil also attacked the civic body over the loss of lives.

Paying tribute to the victim, Patil tweeted, "Such incidents really raise doubts whether the administration had really inspected such dilapidated structures before monsoon."

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan told reporters at Vidhan Bhavan premises here that different governing agencies working in Mumbai should stop blaming each other for water-logging and potholes in Mumbai.

"It is the failure of the government...People are least bothered about on whose roads (whether of BMC or MMRDA) there are potholese? Issues of co-ordination (among agencies) should be solved at the chief minister's level," Chavan added.

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