Traffic police inspectors in charge of 25 chowkies have written over 150 letters in the past two months to BMC,drawing its attention to potentially fatal potholes. They,however,claim there is little or no response from civic officials.
With the city having lost three lives to potholes and incessant rain creating craters on the roads,traffic police fear a rise in road mishaps and loss of more lives. Potholes are not noticeable with rain water on roads. This monsoon,three people lost their lives in Malad and Vasai due to potholes. Few others suffered severe injuries. In every meeting,we give the civic officials a list of potholes in every area. We fear more deaths if authorities do not act soon, said S R Nilewad,DCP (Traffic).
BMC is responsible for the maintenance of arterial roads in the city,PWD for highways and MSRDC for most flyovers.
BMC officials said the civic body was actively trying to work with police. We get inputs not only from the traffic department but other agencies as well. Most of these suggestions are taken into account. BMC is trying to actively attend to such spots for repairs, said S V R Srinivas,additional municipal commissioner.
MMRDA has roads totalling 38.6 km under its jurisdiction in the city. These are mostly roads where projects such as the Metro rail,monorail,Santacruz Chembur Link Road and the Sahar elevated road are underway. We are awaiting a dry spell to start filling potholes on these roads, said Dilip Kawathkar,MMRDA spokesperson.
On an average,traffic police officers speak to BMC officials more than 10 times a day on phone and wireless,informing them about the spots and type of craters. With no adequate support from BMC,traffic policemen in Goregaon have taken up ploughs to fill up potholes using the mud near roads,senior officers said.
In June,we had written more than four letters to MSRDC and BMC officials about potholes on about 200 metres of the flyover on Western Express Highway in Malad (East),but the authorities did not respond. Even after the death of a 28-year-old engineer on July 2,potholes are visible on the stretch, said senior inspector S S Dalvi (Goregaon traffic division).
The D N Nagar traffic division,too,is yet to receive a reply from BMC to its letters. About five months ago,I was attending a meeting at the K-West ward office with MP Gurudas Kamat and municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte. Kamat told Kunte he had been writing to BMC since he was a Union Minister,but never received a single acknowledgment. When BMC does not reply to former union ministers,we cannot expect one either, said Vijay Dhatrak,senior inspector,DN Nagar Traffic Division.