Mumbai: The BMC's vigilance department has now stepped in to address the recurring menace of potholes. It will dig deeper into the issue of quality works and check whether sub-standard patching is behind the resurfacing of craters despite fixing them. If the work is found to be of dubious quality then the vigilance officials will issue a notice to the department concerned besides penalising the contractor.
Potholes are a perennial issue which aggravates further during monsoon. Despite spending ₹144 crore to resolve the problem, the BMC is always at the receiving end of severe criticism. This year, so far, the civic body has received 185 pothole-related complaints; 100 of them have been addressed with the fixing of potholes, the BMC claimed. Still, it has been alleged that craters resurface after a few days.
Random visits to check pothole fix
Therefore, the vigilance department has stepped in to check if the potholes are actually fixed or not. It will also scrutinise if craters are patched whether the work was done in a proper manner. “Vigilance officials will randomly visit roads and check whether potholes fixing has been done as per the conditions mentioned in the tender. If not then a notice will be issued to the department concerned, asking it to get it done as per the condition. Penalties would be also levied on the contractor or his name may be blacklisted,” said a civic official.
This year, the BMC has decided to use reactive asphalt technology to fix potholes. This asphalt doesn't stick on tyre of vehicles and traffic can be allowed to ply after two hours of application. Apart from reactive asphalt, rapid hardening concrete and cold mix are two other methods used to fix potholes. However, rapid hardening needs a dry surface and six hours to set in while cold mix is used to fix craters running six meters deep. So far, the civic body has provided 1,300 metric tonnes of cold mix to all 24 administrative wards.
Besides the 2000 km long road network, the civic body has been entrusted with the responsibility of repairing Eastern and Western Express Highways and Eastern Freeway, which were previously managed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. Till date, just 900 km of roads have been turned into cement concrete paths.