Free Press Journal

Gandhigiri pays dividends


  • After activists name road leading to International Airport as ‘Ajoy Mehta Road’, BMC not only fills potholes, but gets entire stretch resurfaced •Civic body also fills potholes that surfaced on road next to Shah Rukh Khan’s house

Mumbai : After activists named the road leading to Mumbai International Airport ‘Ajoy Mehta Road’ on July 19, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) not only filled the potholes, but went all the way and resurfaced the entire stretch. Watchdog Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), had in protest, named the pothole-ridden road ‘Ajoy Mehta Marg’, after the civic chief, as the stretch between Saki Naka and T2 Mumbai international airport was infested with at least a hundred potholes.

Neither the Airports Authority of India nor the BMC had been ready to accept responsibility for the maintenance of the road before the activists’ gimmick.

The move was aimed at drawing Mehta’s attention to the plight of roads used by Mumbaikars and the NGO succeeded. “We were pleasantly surprised to see that not only the potholes were filled, but the entire stretch from Saki Naka to the airport had been resurfaced by the corporation,” said Godfrey Pimenta, trustee, Watchdog Foundation.

In the protest on July 19, activists had temporarily filled some potholes using paver blocks and construction debris. Before the protest, they had lodged several complaints that went unheeded, so they decided to get the civic chief ‘involved’.

Meanwhile, the civic body has also responded at lightning speed after potholes surfaced on the road next to the residence of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan on July 27. After activists complained, civic workers were rushed in to fill the potholes and the matter was resolved in less than a day. Residents and other citizens have urged that the same speed be displayed in addressing the problems of the entire city, and not just for VIP lanes.