As a mark of protest, the BJP along with the opposition parties staged a walkout from the standing committee meeting Wednesday. The spat between the two ruling parties started when the Shiv Sena took a dig at Fadnavis, asking if the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was waiting for the chief minister’s directions to fill up the potholes.
“Despite having a dry spell of two days, the civic administration did not fill up the potholes. Was the BMC waiting for the chief minister to give directions to fill up the potholes?” said Trushna Vishwasrao, Sena corporator and leader of House.
Responding to the Sena, the BJP accused it of failing to resolve the issue of potholes. “Sena is defending the civic administration and not holding it responsible for the pothole problem in the city. What was the need to bring the chief minister into the discussion?” said Manoj Kotak, a BJP corporator and group leader in the BMC.
The Sena later said that there was no need for the BJP to walk out of the standing committee meeting. “We are not siding with the civic administration. In fact, we have followed up with them and it was the mayor’s letter that unearthed the road-repair scam. This is all part of the BJP’s ploy of taking credit for repairing potholes. Since the civic chief is close to the CM and the BMC is run by the urban development department, I don’t understand why the BJP felt offended,” said Vishwarao.
Other corporators such as Samajwadi Party’s Rais Shaikh and Waqarunnisa Ansari of the Congress demanded compensation for the family of the 21-year-old motorist who died after his bike fell into a large pothole on J J Marg on September 26.
“People shouldn’t pay for the incompetence of the contractors and the civic administration. The civic body should grant compensation to the victim’s family,” said Shaikh. Cornered by the ruling parties, the civic administration said the pothole-filling work has been fast-tracked and would be completed by October 5.