Panel proposes to bring all city roads under BMC purview for better results

Mumbai has about 2,000 kms of public roads, of which over 1,941 kms are maintained by the BMC.

Written by Alison Saldanha | Mumbai | Published: August 9, 2014 1:53:21 am

To bring all roads within Mumbai limits under the jurisdiction of the BMC, a proposal has been submitted to the state government.

The proposal has been made as part of the recommendations of a report prepared by a state-appointed committee of officials belonging to different agencies involved in the construction of various roads in the state.

Chaired by BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte, the committee members include representatives from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), Public Works Department (PWD) and Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), among other state agencies.

“The state-appointed committee was formed to look into the uniform standards for maintenance and repair of roads within the limits of the city. At present, different agencies are in charge of various roads in Mumbai, though most roads are under the BMC. These agencies, be it the MMRDA, MSRDC, PWD or even SRA, have their own standards for construction and maintenance of roads which lead to different outcomes in maintenance. This may be suitable for other parts of the state, but in the city all agencies should adhere to Mumbai standards,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner S V R Srinivas.

“We have submitted the report to the government. It is under consideration now,” said civic chief Kunte.

After deliberations, which lasted over a year, the committee in its report has pointed out that coordination among different agencies to tend to potholes during monsoon and general road repair had been tedious and time-consuming. The committee also noted that as roads remained under various agencies, the problem of accountability for bad roads was not dealt with adequately.

As a solution, quoting Schedule 12 of the Indian Constitution, the committee in its final remarks strongly recommended bringing all roads under one agency — the local authority — which, in this case, is the BMC.

Mumbai has about 2,000 kms of public roads, of which over 1,941 kms are maintained by the BMC.

In 2012, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar (NCP) had expressed an inclination to transfer the charge of the Western Express Highway and Eastern Express Highway from the NCP-favoured PWD to the Shiv Sena-led BMC. Thereafter, the BMC had made requests to the agency for the transfer, but the issue was left in cold-storage.

“If the government takes a decision to transfer all public roads under BMC’s care in the next six months, we are ready for it,” a senior civic official said.

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