In the past 10 days, citizens have reported around 1,500 potholes on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s pothole-tracking website http://www.voiceofcitizen.com, bringing the total tally of complaints registered since the start of monsoon till Wednesday to over 3,000.
Meanwhile, the civic body is struggling to keep pace with repair works as over 700 potholes are still to be repaired. Prior to the start of the monsoon, the civic body spent over Rs 24 crore on pothole-filling contracts. As per the terms of these contracts, potholes must be repaired within 48 hours of being reported. Despite the poor record in pothole repairs, the various departments of the BMC continue to pass the buck.
“Although the roads department oversees the upkeep of various stretches in the city, the issue of pothole repairs remains at the ward level. We are yet to take a report of the action taken on complaints,” said R A Pawar, chief engineer of the roads department.
According to the pothole-tracking website, which till date has received over 8,000 hits, maximum complaints (over 2,700 potholes) have been registered on roads under the care of the 24 local administrative wards. Of these, most complaints have been registered in the R-Central ward (187), which includes Poisar and Borivali, and N ward, which covers Ghatkopar. The high-profile D-ward, which includes places such as Malabar Hill and Napean Sea Road, has also reported a significant number of complaints at 155.
The local R-Central ward officer, V G Bole, said, “We do not handle pothole repairs as that responsibility lies with the central roads department agency and the disaster management cell.”
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However, additional municipal commissioner SVR Srinivas, in-charge of the civic roads department, said, “We reviewed the pothole situation in Mumbai on Wednesday. This year, we have clearly decentralised the process and we will look into issues of local ward offices not complying with the new system.”
Meanwhile, complaints on roads under the care of other agencies within the BMC such as the storm water drains department and those under other state agencies such as the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), continue to rise. Till date, close to 100 potholes have been registered on these roads, though the action taken remains negligible as barely five complaints have been addressed.