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Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022

In the absence of elected councillors, Mumbaikars to act as watchdogs for road repair works worth Rs 5,806 cr

As part of this initiative, the organisation plans to start a dedicated WhatsApp group for real time updates on road works, either organised by them, or in a partnership with BMC, and open to all Mumbaikars.

On Tuesday last week, BMC floated five tenders for cement concretisation of 400 km of roads, at a cost of Rs 5,806 crore, the highest amount of money due to be spent in one go, so far. (File Photo)

IN THE absence of elected representatives and a standing committee due to delay in conducting polls to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), a group of Mumbaikars will be watchdogs for the 400 km road repair works planned by the civic body across the city, and ensure accountability for the project.

Under the banner of Mumbai Citizens Forum, a pan-city civic organisation, a bunch of residents have united to mobilise more citizens and independently vet the civic body’s work, give feedback about commuters’ issues while repair works are scheduled, rope in technicians and engineers into their team to audit technical aspects of road works, keep tabs on timelines promised by the civic body, technologies used, and money spent for the project.

As part of this initiative, the organisation plans to start a dedicated WhatsApp group for real time updates on road works, either organised by them, or in a partnership with BMC, and open to all Mumbaikars.

On Tuesday last week, BMC floated five tenders for cement concretisation of 400 km of roads, at a cost of Rs 5,806 crore, the highest amount of money due to be spent in one go, so far. The work has been undertaken with an assurance from the civic body of pothole -free roads in Mumbai within two years.

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Zohair Diwan, who heads the MCF, said: “It is not just about the amount of money being spent, but also about the issues Mumbai is facing of pothole-riddled roads. As concerned citizens, we can either do something about it, or we can crib and blame the civic body. We want to participate in the process that will give Mumbai pothole-free roads, and ensure BMC holds true to its assurances.”

MCF has decided to rope in two volunteers in each of the 227 electoral wards in Mumbai, and monitor road works. Within the next few months, before work starts on ground, MCF will conduct training programmes for these volunteers and equip them with information about the techniques of making good roads, optimal time taken at each stage to ensure durability, and the latest trends in the market for making durable roads.

Debi Goenka, from MCF said, “The reality confronting citizens is bad roads. I have been hearing promises from the civic body about pothole free roads for 40 years now. We are looking at ways we can mobilise citizen volunteers, co-operate with the BMC, and monitor these road works to ensure it actually gets done.”

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This project (work for 400 km of roads) will kick-start the initiative, and MCF then plans to expand it to other civic infrastructure work in the city.

Goenka said, “We got in touch with the municipal commissioner and have requested tender documents be made available to us. We have also requested all information about which roads will be repaired. We have been assured all information will be made available to us.”

First published on: 10-08-2022 at 12:27:22 am
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