Mumbai Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi is considered one of the most powerful bureaucrats of the state. As additional chief secretary to the
Maharashtra CM, he has handled several difficult issues ranging from farm loan waiver to looking after the War Room, which oversees several important infrastructure projects in the state such as construction of dams and various Metro projects in the city.
But what awaits him now will perhaps be his toughest challenge: to ensure that the financial capital of the country doesn’t go under water this monsoon.
Each year, as rains lash the Maximum City, Mumbai comes to a standstill for a few days with no trains and buses, people fail to get back to work and hundreds of crores are lost in business. But Pardeshi is determined to change all that.
For starters, he is keen to make the functioning of BMC — the richest municipal body in the country — transparent, so that people know what the civic body is doing and are even welcome to give their feedback.
“We have finalised an app, where photos of every drain that has been cleaned will be uploaded by the officer and would be geo-tagged. But if people feel that the drains have not been cleaned, then they can post their own photos. If we find that there is repeated instance of misreporting of cleaning of drains, then action would be taken against the erring official,” said a civic official.
The official said that for the first three to four days, the access to the app would be only given to BMC officers so that they get used to it, and then it will be made available to the public.
The officials said that the purpose of the app is to ensure transparency in BMC’s working and to keep civic officials on their toes.
One of the main reasons why the city gets flooded is because storm water drains get blocked due to dumping of plastic and thermocol, so nets have been fitted in all such drains to stop floating matter from obstructing the water flow.
Similarly, nets have also been fitted in drains near slums to make sure that slum dwellers do not throw garbage in them. The slum dwellers have also been warned that the civic body will cut off their water supply if they throw rubbish in the drains.
The next few months will tell whether Pardeshi will be able to walk the talk.