Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leaders on Monday asked civic officials to fill potholes in the city by Diwali, warning that they would not be allowed to celebrate the festival if they fail to fulfill the promise. “A team of our leaders today met Additional Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh and apprised him of the perils of rising number of potholes on city roads. The officer assured us that the potholes would be filled by Diwali, to which we agreed,” party General Secretary Shalini Thackeray, who was a part of the meeting, said.
She said they also gave an ultimatum to the senior BMC officer and civic engineers that if potholes are not filled as assured, they will not let them celebrate Diwali.
“Our party has a zero tolerance policy towards potholes. Potholes are a reflection of corrupt practise of road engineers, contractors with connivance of senior civic officials. Therefore, we are committed to put an end to this menace,” she said. Former MLA Nitin Sardesai, senior leaders Rita Gupta and Avinash Abhayankar along with other workers attended the meeting. A group of MNS workers led by leader Sandeep Deshpande and corporator Santosh Dhuri had last week allegedly forced Chief Engineer (Roads), BMC, Sanjay Darade to hold an embarrassing placard at a spot in Dadar which read that the officer is “responsible for potholes in the city”.
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Later, Darade lodged a complaint against the two and subsequently both were arrested by the Shivaji park police under IPC Sections 341 (wrongful restraint) and 506 (34) (criminal intimidation). The two leaders are currently behind bars.
Meanwhile, MNS has claimed that ever since it has launched drive on the issue, civic administration has “woken up” and are discharging their duty “rightfully”.
“Ever since our leaders launched a zero tolerance policy towards potholes, the civic body has stepped up its efforts to fill up potholes which is a good sign,” Thackeray said. Party workers and leaders would also carry out quality checks and an audit of potholes themselves, she added.