BMC plans to concrete all city roads in 3 years

Commissioner, however, says Mumbai cannot be pothole-free until the civic body becomes the sole planning and maintenance authority

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Saturday, October 01, 2022, 12:03 AM IST
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Submitting an action plan for a ‘pothole-free Mumbai’, Municipal Commissioner and BMC Administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal told the Bombay High Court on Friday that within three years every inch of the city’s roads, lanes and bylanes will be concreted.

He, however, added that Mumbai cannot be pothole-free until the BMC becomes the single planning authority to look after maintenance work.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik had asked Chahal to come to court while hearing a contempt petition filed by advocate Ruju Thakker regarding wilful non-compliance by municipal corporations in the state with the court’s 2018 judgment in a PIL on fixing roads.

Chahal was present in the court on Friday and gave a PowerPoint presentation where he detailed a plan to improve the city roads and the hurdles the civic body faces.

When Chief Justice Datta asked, “By when do you assure citizens of Bombay of pothole-free roads?” Chahal replied: “We are going to concretise all lanes and bylanes. We have an action plan of three years where every inch of roads in Mumbai will be concretised.”

So far, of the 2,050 km roads under the BMC, 900 km have been concreted, he said. The action plan for filling potholes on major state highways is expected to be completed by Nov 30.

He also submitted a list of 20 worst roads which stretch over 125 km. These will be fully carpeted with asphalt in three months. “Instead of filling potholes every time, we will put a layer of asphalt like a carpet on the entire road,” he said.

In February 2021, Chahal had written to the Maharashtra government to make the BMC the single planning authority in Mumbai for a holistic and unified development. Pursuant to this, the civic body has been given charge of the Western Express Highway and the Eastern Express Highway. Roads in Cuffe Parade and Nariman Point were also handed over to it.

As of today, there are 15 agencies which own 500 km of roads in Mumbai. Most of the potholes are on these roads but citizens blame the civic body, Chahal told the bench.

On a suggestion from the court that the BMC concrete arterial roads first, Chahal said the plan was decided on the basis of traffic density and work timings. An asphalt road has a defect liability of five years while the term is 30 years for a cement concrete road.

The court said it will monitor the issue and asked all the authorities to submit a report every two months.

Total roads under BMC

City--540 km

Eastern suburbs--510 km

Western suburbs--1,000 km

Total--2,050 km

Concrete roads--990 km

Tenders awarded and work ongoing--265 km

Tenders floated to be awarded by Nov-- 397 km

Roads to be improved in phase 2--398 km

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