Mumbaikars deny tall claims of MMRDA chief

Mumbai: There’s resentment expressed by Mumbaikars a day after Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) Commissioner RA Rajeev claimed that there are no potholes on both the Western and Eastern Expressway (WEH & EEH), and traffic on Wednesday was due to more vehicles plying on the roads after rain stopped. There was strong denial to the MMRDA chief's claim by the people who regularly use these highways. Abhishek Singh (35) working for a retail company travels everyday from Malad to Vikhroli.

Singh said, “The statement made by the commissioner is nowhere close to the reality, as there are a lot of potholes, due to which the traffic gets badly affected. Talking about a specific location then, there are potholes near the Oberoi Mall junction on WEH and on the entire Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR). Due to bad roads now, everyday it takes more than two hours while going to office and returning home. Previously it used to take me an hour. Unfortunately, whatever time I am working, half of the time I spend on travelling.”

While another citizen named Chandan Lodha (31) a businessman, who travels everyday to Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) from Goregoan, strongly believes that one of the major reasons for the traffic jam on WEH is due to potholes at the traffic junctions.

“The responsible authority should make these junctions potholes-free because when the signal gets green the vehicles pass slowly due to potholes which eventually creates the bottleneck. The Oberoi Mall junction is one such chronic spot. Secondly, the roads are also not smooth and uneven in shape so even if there aren't any potholes as per the commissioner's claim, in general the ride on these roads is not smooth; a bumpy ride also adds to the traffic," said Lodha.

Interestingly a city-based activist Mushtaq Ansari (39) along with his friend named Irfan Machiwala (44) had surveyed the WEH on June 25 and 26 to identify the potholes. Wherein they found around 83 potholes on the service road and on the WEH. "There are also several potholes on the Eastern Express Highway." Authorities do not have stock of asphalt or bitumen, and therefore they are repairing these potholes with paver blocks, which can prove fatal. In a recent case also a pothole near the Kherwadi end flyover has been covered with a paver block, he said.

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