While civic bodies and cantonment boards have woken up to apply temporary balm on wrecked roads following continuous rain for more than a fortnight,the pothole menace remains on several main and internal roads of the suburbs. At least four persons have been killed due to potholes so far.
The number of potholes found across Pune city reflects the quality of roads laid out for citizens and the death threat they pose every day.
While citizens and activists are pegging the collective figure of potholes in Pune city alone at a staggering 10,000,PMC officials point out that around 1,000 potholes have been spotted on prominent city roads. They,however,dont want to hazard a guess on the number of potholes on internal roads. On the other hand,PCMC officials believe that in Pimpri-Chinchwad,there could be around 2,000 potholes. Not disputing the figure of 10,000,PMC officials concede that if even tiny potholes are taken into consideration,the possibility of the figure crossing the 10,000-mark cannot be ruled out.
PMC Additional City Engineer Pramod Nirbhavane said,If they are going to count even tiny potholes of two inches,they can reach the figure of 10,000. Otherwise,on prominent roads,there are 950 potholes. We are not sure of the number of potholes on internal roads. This is because some of the internal roads have not been laid out and are in a bad shape. He,however,said in suburbs like Vishrantwadi and Kharadi,hardly any potholes can be found on internal roads.
Civic activist Prashant Inamdar said there are more than 10,000 potholes in Pune city alone. This is because we have to consider the total length of the city roads,which stands at 2000 km. Even if we say 25 per cent of the roads are bad,that means 500 km road length is in a bad state. Of the 500 km,every km has 20-25 potholes,which clearly shows the figure of potholes stands beyond 10,000.
Another activist Vijay Kumbhar agrees,There is no doubt that pothole count is beyond 10,000. Forget about old roads,even newly laid roads are of poor quality. The Pashan-Sus Road,which was built in March,has come apart. There is unevenness and several spots where waterlogging is visible.
Jugal Rathi,who cycles through the city,said there are more than 5,000 potholes in Pune city. If we take the estimate of PCMC and the three cantonment boards,the figure goes beyond 10,000. He said they had complained about a bad spot on Law College Road in March,but PMC has not responded yet.
Like the civic activists,citizens,top officials or bigwig politicians have a figure to quote. But all agree that the number of potholes runs into thousands. Mayor Vaishali Bankar said Pune city has less than 5,000 potholes. I dont think there are more than 5,000 potholes. The work of filling them up is on in full swing, she said.
NCP city president Vandana Chavan said she does not want to guess,but there are thousands of potholes in Pune city. In areas like Lokmanya Nagar,Sahakarnagar and Dahanurkar Colony,there are hardly any potholes. But in other areas,not even one metre of road is in good condition. If it has potholes,the entire road is in a poor condition. The state of some roads in Pune city is shocking, she said. Chavans remarks assume significance since her party rules the PMC.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vishwas Pandhare said,My guess is that there could be less than 5,000 potholes. Some of the spots like in Lullanagar or on Paud Road were in bad shape a couple of days ago.
PMPML spokesperson Deepak Pardeshi said there were a lot of potholes in Katraj,Balajinagar and Padmavati area but the repair work carried out in the past few days has reduced the number.