The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) informed the Bombay High Court Friday that it will give all its ward officers new cellphones and SIM cards to receive potholes-related complaints. This will be done keeping in mind the “abuse” civic officials faced after their numbers were advertised in newspapers.
The BMC had advertised the numbers in compliance with a previous order passed by Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice M S Karnik. The BMC was directed to publish the numbers of the road engineers of each municipal ward so that residents could register complaints.
On Friday, however, the BMC counsel informed that residents who “did not have any complaints” on the condition of roads were calling on those numbers for no good reason and “abusing the officers”.
The bench subsequently observed, “The citizens must be getting frustrated after driving through long stretches of roads riddled with potholes, and hence making those heated calls.”
The BMC also informed that in compliance with its previous orders, it had shortlisted three firms to supply better quality road repair material. The counsel said the material supplied by one such company had already been used on the road near Sion hospital.
Meanwhile, the state government said following the last court hearing, 3,247 potholes had been repaired on the Eastern and Western Express Highways. It, however, said that 137 remaining potholes were going to be repaired on both highways. Heavy rain over the last few days, the state reasoned, had disrupted repair work only to be carried out after a month.
The High Court, not impressed with the submission, asked the state to complete the work within a month.