Mumbai : The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to publicize the contact numbers of road engineers from all the 24 wards, so that the citizens can directly lodge their complaints regarding potholes in the city.
A division bench of Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice Makrand Karnik, while hearing a suo motu public interest litigation regarding the potholes in the city, was informed that citizens have to surmount several technical glitches before they can lodge pothole complaints on MCGM’s app (MCGM 24X7). Taking note of this, the bench directed the civic body to publicize the contact numbers of road engineers from all the wards in various newspapers.
Senior counsel Anil Sakhre, appearing for MCGM, told the Bench that five companies have been shortlisted by the civic body for repairing the potholes on a trial basis. He, however, clarified that the material provided by these companies will be used for a limited period only on a trial basis. The materials provided will also be used as per the technologies suggested by the Indian Roads Congress and the Central Road and Research Institute (CRRI). The civic body has been getting much flak for using ‘sub-standard’ material in repair of potholes, which results in their re-appearance on the roads.
During the hearing, one of the interveners informed the bench that in the stretch between Ghatkopar and Mulund, there are around 50 manholes that are lying open; there are no signboards informing the citizens of the menace either. Accordingly, the bench directed the Public Works Department to cover the manholes ‘immediately’ and file a compliance report.
Subsequently, another intervener informed the bench about the ‘poor condition’ of the Western Express Highway (WEH). The intervener told the bench that the entire road has been ‘washed off’ due to the rain. The bench has directed an officer from the PWD department to visit the WEH and carry out the repairs at the earliest.
Meanwhile, GW Mattos, the counsel for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Area (MMRDA), told the bench that none of the roads under its jurisdiction have any potholes. He, in fact, asserted that all the roads under MMRDA are pothole-free. On a lighter note, the bench asked him to inform the MCGM about the ‘material’ it uses for repairing the roads.