City bears the brunt in BMC, MMRDA slugfest


By Ashley D’Mello

MUMBAI: The old blame-game between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC) and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has flared up again after a gap of six years.

The finger-pointing behaviour of BMC corporators and officials against the MMRDA, blaming the authority’s projects for flooding and waterlogging in certain areas of the city, has not gone down well with the MMRDA administration.

While talking to journalists, MMRDA commissioner Rahul Asthana maintained that there is no bad blood between the MMRDA and the BMC. But at the same time, he said, “Of the 2,000km of roads in the city, only 32km is under the MMRDA. Debris from the metro and monorail project sites is cleaned out regularly; why then are we to blame?” Asthana questioned.

MMRDA-BMC sparring was common in 2005-2006, when municipal officials and engineers often took pot shots at the MMRDA’s projects. Some part of the blame for the floods which ravaged Mumbai in July 2005 was also placed squarely on the MMRDA’s shoulders. The authorities also share considerable political rivalry, as MMRDA, with the chief minister as its chairman, has been perceived as Congress-dominated, while the BMC has been dominated by the Shiv Sena so far.