The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has finally cracked the whip on J Kumar Infraprojects company for doing a shoddy job of the flyover that forms part of the Santa Cruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR).
FPJ had highlighted the issue on Tuesday. The project was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi three months ago and the flyover developed a large number of potholes a few days into the monsoon.
MMRDA officials were lackadaisical
“MMRDA officials were lackadaisical [when it came to quality control] even though the mega project was inaugurated by Modi,” a local resident, K Mahesh, said. Although MMRDA claims that the company has now fixed the potholes, it remains to be seen whether the flyover is able to withstand the full brunt of the rains in the coming weeks.
“The contractor involved with the work was served a notice. As the entire project is still not over, this work does not even fall under the ‘defect liability period’. Hence the contractor is supposed to repair it, irrespectively,” Dr Sanjay Mukherjee, metropolitan commissioner, told FPJ.
Cosmetic repair did not hold well
One of the officials shared the cause of the potholes. “While the flyover work was underway, this portion of the elevated road was being utilised as a casting and storage yard where heavy metallic materials were stored, causing the bottom layer of the bitumen to wear off. When inauguration date neared, the spot was cleared and only black topping was done,” the official said.
This is not the first time that J Kumar has been accused of shoddy construction work. Less than a decade ago, the BMC had blacklisted the company, yet MMRDA continued to award crucial projects, such as the metro rail construction, to it.
MMRDA's shoddy projects in the past
In September 2021, a portion of Bandra Kurla Complex flyover, built by the same company, collapsed injuring 14 labourers. No strong action was taken against the company by the police.
More than a decade ago, the Malad Junction flyover on Western Express Highway too developed potholes within months of opening. Likewise, in 2015, the newly built Mahape flyover in Navi Mumbai was marked with potholes within three months of its inauguration.