THE BMC has spent Rs 113 crore on filling up potholes during the last six years, a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by a city-based activist has revealed. The data provided by BMC’s roads and traffic department to activist Shakeel Shaikh stated that from 2013 to July 31 this year, the civic body has received 24,146 online complaints regarding potholes.
In 2013, it has spent Rs 46.26 crore to fix potholes, followed by Rs 34.17 crore in 2014, Rs 10.61 crore in 2015, Rs 6.95 crore in 2016, Rs 7.73 crore in 2017, Rs 7.98 crore in 2018 and Rs 14.35 lakh so far in 2019. In 2013, BMC had made a provision of Rs 175.52 crore to repair potholes. As per the RTI reply, of the 24,146 complaints received in the last six years, potholes in 23,338 cases have been repaired.
The data also shows that the maximum number of complaints, at 6,544, were registered in 2016, when ‘Voice of Citizen’ — the online complaint registration system — was made functional. This year, from April to July 31, the BMC has received 2,661 complaints on potholes. Of these, the civic body has claimed that it has repaired 2,462 potholes and only 199 are left.
When contacted, Shaikh said that the RTI reply shows that BMC has approximately spent about Rs 16,693 on the repair of each pothole in these six years. “It is spending crores on repairing potholes but on ground, there is very little relief for residents. Accidents are happening due to potholes but the civic body claims that it has filled almost all that needed repair… The BMC is hiding the actual numbers of potholes. I am urging the municipal commissioner to make the system more transparent and put the total number of potholes on the website,” he added.
A senior official from the roads and traffic department said, “We are using cold mix material to fill the potholes, as it repairs faster. As of now, some potholes remain, which would be soon repaired. We have asked engineers to take up repair works on important roads first.” On Rs 16,693 being spent to repair one pothole, the official added: “Earlier, the expenditure on potholes was high but if you see the data, we have now reduced the same.”