Pre-Monsoon Drain Cleaning Commences in Pune Amidst Concerns Over Pace and Quality

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Pune, 10th April 2024: With the Lok Sabha elections’ code of conduct looming, Pune’s municipal administration has initiated pre-monsoon drain cleaning operations. Municipal Commissioner Dr. Rajendra Bhosle has directed that these essential tasks be concluded by May 10. However, as the pre-monsoon efforts progress slowly and tenders are being secured at significantly lower rates, questions regarding the timely completion and quality of the works arise.

Annually, the municipal corporation undertakes the cleaning of drains, streams, monsoon sewers, and canals as part of its pre-monsoon agenda. Unfortunately, in recent years, these endeavors have often extended beyond the monsoon’s onset due to delays and interruptions. Such delays have drawn criticism, particularly when waterlogging incidents occur during the rainy season, attributing to suspicions of contractors falsifying completion records. In response, the decision to initiate drain cleaning early was made, aligned with the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections’ code of conduct, prompting an expedited tender process.

Despite the early commencement, the pace of work remains sluggish. Cleaning activities for monsoon drains and general drain cleaning are progressing at a leisurely speed, raising concerns about meeting the May 10 deadline. However, municipal authorities assure an acceleration in the work rate, with supervision across all 15 zonal offices and five Zonal Deputy Commissioners.

The municipal corporation tendered contracts for drain and rain drain cleaning within the jurisdiction of its 15 zonal offices, with approved calculation sheets. These works aim to eliminate water flow impediments such as debris and overgrown vegetation. Additionally, monsoon channel cleaning is slated. Despite contractor tenders coming in significantly lower, ranging from 10 to 53 percent, than the pre-approved rates, they were sanctioned, sparking doubts about work quality.

The extensive scope of the undertaking includes 647 km of canals, 742 culverts, 12 small dams, 325 km of monsoon channels, and 55,300 chambers. Orders have been issued to authorities to ensure completion by May 10, with an emphasis on both timely execution and quality assurance, as emphasized by Dr. Rajendra Bhosle, Commissioner of the Pune Municipal Corporation.