108 potholes await BMC attention

Despite Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s claim that potholes on city roads have reduced in number, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to tackle scores of them surfacing due to the rain. The civic body has received 473 pothole-related complaints till July 3, of which 108 are yet to be dealt with.

Responding to a query in the Assembly’s ongoing monsoon session on Tuesday, Mr. Fadnavis said there were 14,455 potholes in 2014-15, 5,316 in 2015-16, 4,478 in 2016-17 and 4,044 in 2017-18. This year, BMC data shows 473 complaints were received between June 10 and July 3, of which Andheri (E) had the most at 59, followed by Malad (41) and Bhandup (32).

The ward with the most pending complaints is Kandivali, where half of them are yet to be addressed. Andheri (E) has done poorly on this front too, with 41% pending complaints. These include complaints received on BMC’s mobile app, disaster control helpline and Whatsapp. As per a Bombay High Court order, it has published a list of Whatsapp numbers of road engineers from every ward, so that citizens can take pictures of potholes and send them to the concerned engineer.

Congress corporator Asif Zakaria took up the matter in Wednesday’s Standing Committee meeting. The point of order raised by him sought to know how roads resurfaced before the monsoon were damaged after a few showers. It also demanded information on steps taken by the civic body to appoint a contractor for repairing roads in Bandra, as the previous one has been blacklisted.

Mr. Zakaria said, “Commuting has become a nightmare at Mehboob junction and a few other roads in Bandra, BMC has proposed concretising the junction. Across Mumbai, roads resurfaced just before monsoon have developed craters.”

The BMC has slashed its budget for preventive pothole repairs to Rs. 11 crore this year, while investing in the manufacture of a coldmix with an imported additive at its Worli plant. Vinod Chithore, Chief Engineer, Roads and Traffic, BMC, said, “The mix has got good response except in Bandra, where it was poorly used. We have already distributed 293 metric tonnes of cold mix to ward officials. Complaints have reduced over the years due to pre-monsoon work. Contractors are supposed to fill potholes where roads are within the guarantee period. We have fined those who haven’t done so. For other roads, we are repairing them through our ward offices.”

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