A day after the BMC promised pothole-free roads in the next two years, several stakeholders, including ex-corporators, activists and experts, underscored that the civic body's promise will only become a reality if the civic officials are held accountable for bad roads.
During a review meeting on Saturday, BMC administrator I S Chahal assured Chief Minister Eknath Shinde that the city's 2,055-km-long road network will be made into Cement Concrete (CC) roads in the following two years. Post the completion of the multi-crore project, the pothole menace will be solved to a great extent, the civic body claimed.
So far, 989.84 km of roads have been converted into CC ones. The BMC has also decided to construct soak pits in new roads to improve water percolation through the surface.
However, the assurance elicited sharp reactions from ex-corporators, activists and experts; as they echoed that the tall promises will only be fruitful when the road work will be properly supervised.
Welcoming the civic body's move of converting the roads into CC ones, former Opposition leader in the BMC and senior Congress leader Ravi Raja questioned, "What have they done in the last two years for the good quality of roads?"
Placing the onus for the city's bad roads on Shiv Sena, ex-BJP corporator Vinod Mishra said, "The officials are expected to be on the ground and monitor the work. But, lack of supervision has affected the quality of road works."
Similarly, Jitendra Gupta, a city-based expert said, "The BMC has taken a good decision to convert all the roads to concrete. I wonder why it took them so long. The BMC should have realised this a decade ago. For good roads, controlling and supervision of road works is important."
Godfrey Pimenta, founder of WatchDog Foundation, remarked that the BMC's statement has to be taken with a pinch of salt. He said, "If there is proper supervision on the road work at every level and civic officials are made accountable then the city will have good roads one day."
Details of the project
Costing Rs 2,200 cr, works on 236 km roads are currently underway
Project for revamping 423 km roads will be taken up next fiscal
Of 400 km city roads, 50 km of them will be resurfaced at Rs 800 cr
In eastern suburbs, 75 km roads will be developed at Rs 600 cr
In western suburbs, 275 km roads will be upgraded at Rs 3,500 cr
So far, 16,933 potholes have been patched