With a high growth rate of 1.39 per cent, Mumbai's R central (C) ward comprising Borivali has become a major COVID-19 hotspot. The RC ward has the highest growth rate (1.39%) and lowest doubling rate (50 days) among BMC’s 24 wards. Currently, there are 1,339 active cases and a total of 7,507 cases in the RC ward. The problem of potholes and poor condition of roads has added to the woes of local residents.
Public representatives and locals opine that the torrential rains in August deteriorated the condition of the roads even further. When contacted, Ward officer Bhagyashree Kapse said the cases have risen as people are going out after the lockdown was lifted. “The ward office is identifying all the pothole problems in the area and filling them in a phased manner," she added.
“The condition of roads near the highway and its nearby areas, Rajiv Nagar is worse this year. Driving for just half an hour tends to cause immense back pain," said Rajiv Shukla, a resident. “The number of COVID-19 cases are not going down, there's a case now in almost every household,” said Arati Desai, a resident of RC ward, whose family member has been recently tested positive.
BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar said concrete roads can solve the problem but the government agencies are not interested in solving the problem. “There's no way other than concretisation of the roads. During the lockdown, the MMRDA and BMC could have done the roads to some extent as roads have been emptier during summer, which would have lessened the woes of the public,” Bhatkhalkar said.
He added, "The government has started unlocking so cases are bound to rise. Had they initiated the unlocking in a phased manner, cases wouldn't have increased so rapidly in North Mumbai.”
Congress Corporator of Borivali, Bhushan Patil blamed overflowing sewers as the reason behind the potholes. "Most of the areas in Borivali are low lying. There's a sewerage problem in this area. If there's a rain for half an hour the manholes and sewers start overflowing," stated Patil.