Mumbai: The city has hardly stepped into the second month of monsoon and its roads are already steeped in potholes. The BMC has received as many as 837 pothole complaints in one month, half of them in the past week, when rain battered the city for four straight days in a row.
Roads department officials said that from June 10 to July 3, BMC had received 473 complaints. But in the last seven days, the total number of complaints almost doubled to 837. This comes a day after CM Devendra Fadnavis, at the ongoing monsoon session in Nagpur, said that potholes in Mumbai have reduced drastically, from 14,455 in 2014-15 to 4,044 in 2017-18. Of the 837 complaints received between June 10 and July 10, BMC claims it has attended to around 564 of them. However, 281 potholes are yet to be attended by road engineers, including some more that the BMC itself has spotted.
Vinod Chithore, Chief Engineer, Roads Department, said, “We have attended to 67 per cent of complaints. The new material being used to fill potholes has borne good results. We have distributed around 293 metric tonnes of cold mix until now in all the wards.” Activists have cried foul at the corporation’s claims. “How much is the corporation going to defend itself? Instead of assuming responsibility for flooding, they were patting the backs of their staff. Our CM says potholes have reduced, but it is anything but that. Besides, these complaints are received and not reported. There definitely must be more potholes in the city that are going unreported,” said Godfrey Pimenta, Trustee, Watchdog Foundation.
Pointing at the abysmal condition of city roads, corporators raised a point of order wherein they had slammed the BMC administration at the Standing Committee on Wednesday. Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party leader, said that helpline numbers given to each ward to address potholes go unanswered. “The administration had claimed potholes would be addressed in 48 hours. But the messages are not even seen for four days. And people then point fingers at us for not having worked,” Shaikh said.