Dug up patches, incomplete repairs, sudden new resurfacing work.
At area after area in the city, it is the same story. Weeks ahead of the expected arrival of the monsoon, the BMC, which is behind schedule on ongoing works, has dug up roads afresh, defying the May 15 deadline for start of any pre-monsoon works.
According to BMC’s own rule, by May 30, all road works should be either brought to the “safe” stage or finished completely. But this is certain not to happen.
Last year, the BMC had started repair and resurfacing of over 1,350 roads, including pre-monsoon preventive work. About half this work is yet to finish. Recently, it has dug up roads afresh, which will likely turn into potholes during monsoon. The Indian Express team visited some of these sites.
Lal Bahadur Shashtri (LBS) Marg, from Sion to Kurla Phoenix Market city
LBS Marg, a vital link road in the eastern suburb starting from Sion till Mulund, has been freshly dug up at several locations, especially at Kurla near Phoenix Market City Mall. On May 20, after the deadline to start any new work, fresh digging was going on in a stretch south of Phoenix Market City on LBS, Kurla.
“In the past, they were dug up for some utility related works, but the repair is in a shoddy condition and will wash out during monsoon and create potholes. Every time, just before monsoon, all digging works start,” said Shahid Shaikh, a motorist who uses LBS to reach his office in Kurla.
Another motorist raised concern over unfinished work. “How are they ever going to finish before the rain arrives? Stretches that were dug up ahead of last monsoon (in Kurla) still don’t look complete.”
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road from Dadar TT to Parel
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, which passes through city’s worst flooding spot, Hindmata, is one of the most important roads in the island city. Every 200 to 500 m on both the south and north bound side, the road has been dug up. At most places, the dug up parts have been barricaded in the last month with no progress in the work.
“They have dug up newly resurfaced or reconstructed roads. At some locations, while the water department has done the digging, at others, it is the storm water drain department. There is hardly any coordination among BMC’s departments. The roads department is resurfacing, and after a few days, it is dug up by some other department. Such instant digging leads to potholes and traffic jams,” said Bharat Desai, a shopowner from Hindmata.
Digging and incomplete repair work near ITC Hotel in Parel has also affected traffic in the locality.
CST Road and Hansbhugra Road near University campus
This is an important road connecting eastern and western suburbs. While the ongoing flyover construction has increased traffic jams, the road dug up to biuld the flyover has not been repaired. Apart from the potholes, Kalina residents are also worried about mosquito breeding in the pits of the flyover pillars.
The flyover is to start from Kapadia Nagar, Kurla and end at Western Express Highway. “Currently, work is going on outside the University campus. Major portion of the road has been dug up. Monsoon will arrive anytime but the condition of the road has worsened as there is no focus on stopping the work and brining it to the safe stage,” said Robin Viegas, a resident of Vidyanagari Parisar ALM, Kalina.
Lokhandwala Circle and City Mall, Andheri
In the densely populated Lokhandwala area of Andheri West, a newly relaid road was dug up for utility work at Lokhanwala Circle. “About six months ago, the Circle was resurfaced with mastic asphalt. Now, for some telecom company, it was dug up recently… and work is going on in small patches. Monsoon is about to arrive but the repair of that dug up stretch is yet to be finished properly. Another portion of road at Link Road near City Mall is also dug up and there is no sign of it being repaired,” said Dhaval Shah of Andheri Lokhandwala and a member of Oshiwara Residents’ Association.
Ongoing Metro work has also affected the locality and it will be a nightmare in the monsoon, Shah added.