MUMBAI: The local ward office directed the sewerage operation department to levy a penalty of Rs 1 lakh on a contractor who let sewage spill into the sea (Sewage spills into sea at Cuffe Parade, BMC says contractor fouled up, TOI, April 21). The notice, sent to the civic chief engineer (sewerage operations), referred to the report, stating that “it appears there is a hue and cry among citizens of Cuffe Parade… you are requested to penalise the concerned contractor Rs1,00,000 and intimate the office. You are requested to instruct the concerned contractor not to discharge sewerage into SWD network and make alternate arrangements of flow of sewage into sewage network by any other suitable means”.

Assistant municipal commissioner (A ward) Kiran Dighavkar said they noticed that the problem of sewage entering the sea did not exist before the sewerage augmentation work started in the locality. “Following repeated complaints from citizens, our staff inspected the site and found a connection was forcefully blocked. However, it was reconnected. We have therefore directed that a penalty be levied on the contractor,” he said.
At the civic ward committee meeting on Tuesday morning, the issue of local citizens complaining of the sewage entering the sea, giving off a foul smell, was raised by Cuffe Parade corporator Harshita Narwekar. She said despite repeated complaints the civic authorities were not acting on it. “I told the authorities to immediately delink the connection of the sewage line into the SWD network. I was told that BMC had earlier this month inspected the site and staff had closed the connection. But later, when they visited it again, we found it was reconnected,” said Narwekar, adding that this was an environmental hazard.
On Tuesday, a letter was sent to BMC by Cuffe Parade Residents’ Association (CPRA). CPRA secretary Padmakar Nandekar said, “It’s unfortunate that for an activity like augmentation of sewage lines, it is being diverted to the SWD network. It appears adequate preventive measures have not been taken.” B M Chaturvedi, who lives in Maker Towers (H), said on Tuesday the flow of sewage continues.