Since the beginning of the Ganesh festival last week with much fanfare, over 3,000 pothole complaints have been registered on the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s pothole-tracking website http://www.voiceofcitizen.com.
According to the tracking system, which has received over 3,200 hits so far, 11,006 of the 12,224 potholes reported till date are yet to be repaired. Till last week, the number of complaints reported stood at 9,652.
Maximum complaints, or 11,603 potholes, have been registered for roads in the care of the local ward administration. About 500 complaints have been reported for roads under the central civic roads department, while the remaining complaints relate to roads under the care of other BMC utility agencies, and other state agencies such as the Public Works Department (PWD), and the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA).
As per the civic body’s standard operating procedure for repairing potholes, appointed contractors and road sub-engineers are given 48 hours to ensure a pothole complaint is addressed and repaired. However, the sluggish response to complaints is keeping the city’s Ganesh mandals on tenterhooks as the final day for immersion of major idols in the city approaches on September 8.
“We have been asking the civic body to repair the craters near the various mandals since weeks, but they have failed to take any action. At many places, the idols have developed cracks because of the uneven roads, but the civic body only tells us that the repair works are in progress,” said Girish Walwalkar, Secretary, Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti.
The N ward, of Ghatkopar and Vikhroli, has recorded close to 1,000 complaints, making it the ward with maximum number of potholes recorded. The BMC data claims that barely 50 potholes or so are pending repairs. This is followed by the R-Central ward, which comprises the area of Borivali and Poisar, which has reported 843 potholes, of which 789 have been closed.
“We are carrying on the repairs as and when they are reported. While many complaints are reported, the pace has increased to match this at the ward-level so that mandals do not face problems. The major routes which will be used during immersion are specially being looked after by the central agency, so if there are any complaints, these would be restricted to minor roads which are not widely used during the festival,” chief engineer of the roads department, R A Pawar said.
About 4,900 potholes were recorded till August 6, the day the civic body had announced it would fast-track the process of filling up potholes by the deadline of August 25. As an assurance to the city’s Ganesh mandals, the civic body had decided to undertake repair works in two phases.