Mumbai Potholes: “I was tricked by the MNS party workers,” says civic official

Mumbai: Hours before the civic body’s standing committee meeting on Wednesday, Sandeep Deshpande, MNS leader in the civic body, forcefully made a senior civic official stand on a road with a board which stated that he is responsible for the pothole on roads.

Deshpande had given an ultimatum of one week to the corporation in the previous standing committee meeting for repairing city’s potholes. Deshpande had said that if the road department fails to repair the potholes, then he will make the civic official responsible for this to stand on a road filled with potholes with a placard that states ‘I am responsible for the potholes in the city’.

Deshpande said, “I had hinted in the previous meeting that I will implicate a civic official from the roads department who is responsible for the potholes in holding the placard on the roads. Despite of several pothole complaints, the local body has paid no heed to the citizen’s issues. The corporation has taken everything for granted.”

Following this, Deshpande with his party workers, deceived Sanjay Darade, Chief Engineer (Roads), from his office in Worli by asking him to visit a pothole on a road near Sena Bhavan in Dadar. Darade alleged that Deshpande came with a complaint about a pothole and forcefully handed him the board after reaching the spot.

“The intention behind visiting the spot was to efficiently address issues related to potholes irrespective of who makes the complaint. I had a hunch that there is no such pothole but it is my responsibility to put an end to this problem in the city which is why I went with the MNS party workers, however, I was tricked into it,” added Darade.

A senior civic official said that the civic body acknowledges that the number of potholes has increased, however, the officials and engineers are trying their level best to repair all the roads but shaming a civic official won’t help.

Previously, Deshapande had threatened to kidnap Ramakant Biradar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G north ward (Dadar) for the increasing number of potholes in Dadar.

A political observer says that the recent revised wards and boundaries declared by the civic body has shaken the MNS party as a lot of wards which belonged to the party corporators were either divided or reserved for a category. “This can be the real reason behind such stunts,” he felt.

According to the civic report of pothole status released on September 29, about 4563 potholes of the total 4599 potholes are ‘attended’ and only 36 potholes across the city are left to be repaired.

The Free Press Journal had reported on September 29 about the outburst in the standing committee meeting where Deshpande had threatened to perform his act if the civic body fails to fill potholes in the city.

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