Water Woes and Corruption Rock Vadodara Municipal Corporation

BJP councillors allege that VMC officers are unresponsive to calls from councilors and MLAs, exacerbating the water crisis in many areas of Vadodara.


Vadodara : The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC), governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the past three decades, is facing mounting public discontent. Despite Vadodara’s reputation as the ‘Cultural City’ and ‘Art City’, residents are increasingly frustrated by persistent issues such as water shortages, overflowing drainage and sewer lines, and rampant corruption.

The tension reached a boiling point during a recent VMC general body meeting. The meeting, intended to address the city’s pressing issues, descended into chaos as BJP councilors vocally criticized the VMC’s administrative authorities for their perceived inefficiency and lack of coordination. The councilors directed their frustration at the Vadodara Mayor and the standing committee chairman, demanding immediate action against the obstructive practices of the VMC’s administrative wing.

BJP corporator Snehal Patel of Ward No. 16 voiced strong concerns about the ongoing water crisis in her area. “There is a water problem in our area, and I have made many representations, but the officers are not listening. The VMC officials are responsible for keeping the residences thirsty,” Patel asserted. She further accused VMC officers of colluding with contractors, suggesting that “all the councilors are working in their respective municipal wards, and the officers need to be controlled. Strict action should be taken against the non-performing officers and contractors.”

The complaints from BJP councilors are not new but have now reached a critical point. They allege that VMC officers are unresponsive to calls from councilors and MLAs, exacerbating the water crisis in many areas of Vadodara. The situation at Vasa Lake serves as a glaring example; the lake, situated between residential societies, overflows during rains, submerging the entire neighborhood. Despite repeated representations over the years, progress on resolving this issue has been excruciatingly slow.

“My phone starts ringing since morning with citizens in my ward complaining about water problems. If the officers are not listening to us, forget about acting on the complaints submitted by the common citizens,” lamented Patel.

Another BJP corporator, Ghanshyam Patel of Ward No. 19, echoed these sentiments, highlighting the direct complaints he receives from residents. “The local councillor of the ward is getting complaints from the residents directly, and nobody calls up the officers for their complaints. The VMC’s administrative wing is not taking the councilors of the respective ward into confidence before taking up any public utility works,” he said.

Adding to the discontent is the delayed Prime Minister Awas Yojana project, aimed at constructing affordable housing for economically backward residents. Initiated in 2017, the project remains incomplete seven years later, despite numerous notices issued to the contractor. The BJP councilors criticized the lack of stringent action against contractors for the prolonged delay, which has left many residents in limbo. “The work order was issued in 2017, and still the EWS housing project is incomplete. The work was supposed to be completed within 18 months,” Ghanshyam Patel pointed out.