While the civic administration has failed to effectively tackle the problem of potholes,work on more than one-fifth of the craters it had filled had to be redone.
According to BMCs pothole tracking software,over 3,532 craters had to be refilled as the work carried out on them was sub-standard. The civic administration has filled 16,782 of the 19,302 potholes reported since June. It sets aside Rs 58 crore for pothole filling work each monsoon.
Each time a pothole resurfaces,officials have to put it on the re-open or re-assign list. The engineer can direct a contractor to re-open a pothole if he finds that the quality of mix used to repair it is sub-standard,rain has washed away the filling,or if the work is poorly executed, said a senior civic official.
Samajwadi Party corporator and BMC Standing Committee member Raees Shaikh said,Although on paper,the officials are supposed to conduct routine supervision and audits of the material used,on the ground,none of the mandates is followed. Truckloads of cold mix is just dumped on potholes without any quality check.
A Marshall Stability test to check the bitumen content,density of the mix,and the load that the specimen can take under a specified temperature,revealed that over 20 per cent of the cold mix used to repair potholes failed to meet the specific requirements,indicating malpractice and misappropriation of funds by contractors.
Swiss project management consultant,SGS,cited absence of a supervisory panel,lack of proper machinery and absence of proper laboratory testing of raw material in its audit report submitted to BMC last year.
MNS corporators protest against potholes
A section of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) corporators attended the BMC general body meeting Monday wearing neck braces and hip belts to demonstrate the plight of commuters prone to injury on pothole-ridden roads. They raised the issue of potholes and demanded a response from Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte. I do not have any specific answers at present. We will present a detailed plan of action in the next meeting, said Kunte.
MNS corporators have been in the news in the last two weeks for their violent protests against BMC with regard to potholes. While corporator Sandeep Deshpande held captive three sub-engineers in their office on July 22,MNS leader Dilip Lande and others assaulted a municipal road contractor on July 26. Corporator Girish Dhanurkar reportedly beat up a junior engineer on August 1.
We have staged three protests so far against the citys potholes. People are facing inconvenience,suffering injuries everyday. We want an answer from the Commissioner.said MNS leader Dilip Lande.