BMC’s poor pothole repair record pushes mandals to look for alternatives

Aware of the civic administration’s poor track record in repairing potholes before the 11-day Ganpati festival,mandals are devising alternative ways to ensure smooth rides for idols.

Written by Sharvari Patwa | Published: September 8, 2012 1:12:18 am

Aware of the civic administration’s poor track record in repairing potholes before the 11-day Ganpati festival,mandals are devising alternative ways to ensure smooth rides for idols.

Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti,the umbrella organisation of Ganesh mandals in the city,has directed members to use sand bags and metal sheets to cover potholes.

Naresh Dahibawkar of the samiti said,“We have indentified over 2,000 potholes on stretches that will be used for Ganpati processions. But the civic administration has still not repaired any. The roads are full of potholes and even a small jerk can damage idols. Damage is considered a bad omen.”

The recent heavy rainfall had only added to the problem,said mandal-owners.

While small idols can be lifted by hand on spotting a pothole,big ones need to be carried with extra care. One could not take chances,said samiti secretary Girish Walawalkar.

“We are planning to meet CM Prithviraj Chavan soon to demand that repairs be undertaken on a war footing.”

Mandal-owners also complained that the civic body’s recently launched hi-tech pothole tracking software was not of much use to them.

“Most of our devotees and members are not tech-savvy. They cannot report potholes on a website,” said Sanjay Sawant,Vice-President of Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal of Ganesh Galli in Girgaum.

Despite repeated promises by BMC last year to ensure pothole-free rides,the idol belonging to Tejukaya Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal collapsed near Chinchpokli.

“We will ensure potholes reported by mandals are repaired before the festival begins. The civic administration has already begun the process,” said G Agarwal,chief engineer of BMC’s road department.

Data generated by Probity Software,BMC’s pothole tracking software,suggests of the 19,581 potholes reported since November,3,321 are yet to be repaired.

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