Watchdog Foundation member Nicholas Almeda protests against BMC for pothole near international airport.
Watchdog Foundation member Nicholas Almeda protests against BMC for pothole near international airport.
BL Soni

Mumbai: The roads of Sion, Ghatkopar’s Pant Nagar near the Eastern Express Highway (EEH), Brij Lal Manik Astik Marg in Mulund West, and a road near Western Express Highway (WEH) Metro station in Andheri East. All these locations are posing a hindrance to traffic owing to potholes – a feature that’s not alien to the city but makes it look like alien land.

The other spots where potholes have made a comeback are the flyover on the WEH in Borivali, Prabodhan Krida Bhavan Marg and Siddhart Nagar in Goregaon West. Roads near Vakola pipeline in Santacruz have also suffered badly during the rains in the past two days and have crater-like potholes, endangering the lives of motorists. Some of those who braved a bumpy ride to work, promptly pointed out the problem on social media.

The EEH, under the jurisdiction of MMRDA, starts from Chunabhatti Junction under the Sion flyover and ends at Majiwada Junction in Thane. The road at Sion circle is under the jurisdiction of MCGM. The EEH was handed over to MMRDA in 2019 by the public works department. While pothole-filling will be taken up during the monsoon, the entire EEH will be overhauled after the season is over.

The majority of potholes are reported across the city during the monsoon following a heavy downpour. As per official data, between April 1 and July 12, 421 complaints of potholes were reported; of these, 239 have been reported since June 1. While 265 of the total number of complaints have been attended, 255 have been closed.

The BMC maintains that every major and minor road from the 2,055 km-network in the city is repaired or resurfaced using asphalt or concrete cement. The roads and traffic department was allocated Rs 2,279 crore in the ongoing fiscal 2020-21, which came down to Rs 2,231 crore in 2021-22. Moreover, the BMC reduced its road improvement and repair targets by almost 45% this year. According to estimates presented in the budget on Wednesday, the BMC proposes to improve the road network of 157 km in the city and suburbs during 2021-22, which is less than the target of 289 km set in 2020-21.

“The filling up of potholes is part of road maintenance, an ongoing work,” said a senior civic official, adding that such complaints are attended to immediately. “The ones that have resurfaced will be attended to as well at the earliest,” the official said.

Ravi Raja, Congress corporator and leader of opposition in the BMC, slammed the civic body stating that to date there is no proper mechanism to track potholes and fill them. Neither has the quality of road construction improved, he said. Raja said, “Every year, during the monsoon, the city has to face the same old civic issues like potholes and waterlogging. Repair and maintenance is undertaken at several spots, but the number of potholes shows how poor the quality is.”

(Inputs from Sweety Adimulam)

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