'Tula BMC-var bharosa nai ka?' -- civic officials to RJ Maliska
Stung by popular RJ Malishka Mendonsa's songs lampooning the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the manner in which it runs the city in the past couple of years, the civic body decided to take matter in their hands this time.
In an unprecedented 'faith-building' exercise, the Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi and top civic staffers on Thursday invited RJ Malishka and her team at the RedFM radio, and Marathi film actor Ajinkya Deo, for a first-hand glimpse of what goes behind running the country's commercial capital and biggest metro city inhabited by around 1.75 crore people.
Pardeshi and other high-ranking officers spent over three hours with them, taking them to various critical spots in the city, the BMC headquarters, the Disaster Control Centre, and other locations for an insight into the efforts that enable the smooth functioning of the city despite occasional glitches, especially during the monsoons, a civic official explained.
The visit was organized against the backdrop of RJ Malishka's two superhit numbers, "Mumbaiiiiii, Tula BMC var bharosa nai ka?" (2017 - Mumbai, don't you have faith in BMC), followed by another "Geli, Geli, Aamchi Mumbai Khaddyat" (2018 a" Mumbai has gone into a ditch).
The BMC had hit back at her in different ways, she was trolled by the ruling Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party civic leaders and virtually ostracised by the civic fathers.
Not anymore... Today, the distinguished 'critical' guests were treated with respect and taken around the Lovgrove Pumping Station, considered a marvel of how huge quantities of rainwater is thrown back to the Arabian Sea to prevent flooding in the city.
The BMC officials showed and explained to them how the city's intricate drainage system works, how the six pumping stations of Mumbai will be active to push out the floodwaters to keep the city functional during the four-month long monsoon.
"They were informed of the water supply systems from the lakes within and outside the city which quenches the city's thirst, the huge work of garbage collections, and invited them to also visit the Deonar dumping ground," the official told IANS, requesting anonymity.
Pardeshi said this year, the BMC has made arrangements to treat all potholed roads with 'cold-mix' on the 200 km long road network serving the city and suburbs to keep traffic moving without hiccups.
Apparently impressed, nodding at the officials in appreciation and appearing a tad embarrassed, RJ Malishka admitted that the problem of garbage was serious as even people from BMWs and Mercedes cars blatantly throw out rubbish on the roads which the BMC staff pick up.
The BMC chief and other officials requested the help of the social media and artistes, as well as city-based FM radio channels to highlight the good works done by the civic body and prevent conveying wrong impressions in the minds of the people.
To a question whether the BMC had taken such a pre-emptive step to prevent RJ Malishka from coming out with another stinging video on the state of the city, the senior official laughed, but declined to comment. IANS