WITH the monsoon nearing its end this year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is gearing up to start work on more than 1,200 roads and 73 junctions this month. Contractors failed to complete work on around 300 roads before the rains began this time and the projects were included in the long list of roads under various categories, including priority II and III and project roads most of which are yet to get approvals from the Traffic Department.
In the monthly meeting held on Saturday, the Municipal Commissioner, Ajoy Mehta, directed officials of the Roads Department to expedite the work and ensure its completion before monsoon next year. Officials from the Roads Department said while resurfacing work on some of the project roads has started, they are in the process of acquiring approvals from the Traffic Department for the rest.
“Work on 47 project roads has already started and once we get the traffic police’s approval, work on 55 roads is expected to begin in another week or so,” said V P Chithore, the Chief Engineer of the Roads Department.
He added that work on 848 roads that are in the priority II category can start without any delay since it doesn’t hamper traffic and thus, does not require approvals from the traffic police.
Contractors will have to complete work on 1,248 roads before the monsoon next year. Apart from priority II roads, the BMC has to take up work on 300 other roads in priority III category, work orders for which are yet to be issued.
“Work on priority III roads will begin after work under priority II category is completed, which should not take more than six-seven days each. Tenders for priority III projects are running a little behind schedule because of introduction of GST. Work orders would be issued to some of the contractors by mid-November, while for the rest, it would be by the end of the month after which, the work can begin,” said Chithore.
Poor condition of the city roads came under the scanner after findings of the Rs 2,000 crore roads scam probe pointed at anomalies that had led to blacklisting of several contractors and a departmental inquiry against engineers from the Roads Department. Despite promises of ensuring timely completion of work and improving the quality of roads, the BMC was unable to complete work on 30 per cent of the roads before the monsoon, as per it’s plan. Of the work taken up on 931 roads, the BMC was not able to complete work on 305.
During the meeting, Mehta issued directions to all ward officials asking them to visit residential and commercial properties that qualify as bulk generators of solid waste and prepare a list of willful defaulters in the next 15 days and they would be monitored. In a revised circular issued earlier this week, Mehta has instructed ward officials to initiate action against housing societies that are using demarcated space for some other purpose and treating those as unauthorised constructions.