Updated: September 26, 2021 9:03:32 am
While BMC’s pothole tracking system shows that there are only around 900 potholes across the city, residents and corporators have slammed the civic administration saying that numbers are under-reported.
The BMC’s web portal for registering complaints on potholes shows that the city has 927 potholes as on September 25. According to the data, of these, 432 potholes have been fixed and the remaining 421 are in the process of being repaired. It also shows that 74 complaints regarding potholes were false.
However, public representatives and activists are not convinced. They said that BMC is under-reporting the numbers and that the ground reality was totally different.
Leader of Opposition in BMC, Ravi Raja, criticised the civic body for not acknowledging the real situation.
“The corporation is under-reporting the number of potholes. In my electoral ward only, there are hundreds of potholes. Also, over the years, the civic administration has completely failed to find a permanent solution for this annual monsoon menace.”
BMC data shows that most number of potholes – 123 – were reported in K East ward (Andheri, Jogeshwari), followed by 57 in P North (Malad) and 50 in L ward (Kurla). A few days ago, a video of potholes on Matunga Road flyover had gone viral on social media.
“Let alone entire Mumbai, just one administrative ward will have thousand potholes. The BMC’s system is recording numbers that are reported to it from the people. Its engineers should proactively find new potholes and repair them as soon as possible,” said Anil Galgali, Right to Information Act activist.
“If you visit areas like Jarimari and Kajupada in Kurla, you will find hundreds of potholes. The system set up at wards for potholes have failed. Bad roads are also contributing to traffic jams at many roads,” he added.
Samajwadi Party MLA Rais Shaikh blamed pending road repair works for potholes. “The BMC is blamed for potholes, as it did not carry out planned repair works worth Rs 2,500 crore in the last one year. The civic body does not have funds for road repairs. If repairs will not take place, then there will be potholes.”
Activists blamed potholes and bad road patches for traffic jams. “There are potholes in Kalina, near Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, slowing down vehicle speed and causing traffic jams. People are forced to spend hours traveling due to bad roads,” said Mushtaq Ansari, an activist known making proactive efforts for repair of potholes.
Facing criticism, the BMC has recently set up a joint team for coordination between the roads and traffic department and the local ward office. The team will have engineers from the department and local wards who have been tasked to expedite the repair works.
“We start repairs during dry spells, as during rain, it is practically not possible to fill potholes. Road engineers are also told to visit their respective areas to find potholes and take up repairs apart from looking into complaints they received from the people. From April 1 to September 11, we have filled 33,156 potholes across Mumbai by using cold mix material. The civic administration has also allocated Rs 2 crore to each ward for pothole filling,” said a senior official from the department.
“There are many potholes on roads that are under other agencies and BMC is being wrongly blamed for those. When we get complaints about potholes on such roads, we inform the concerned agencies. It is their responsibility to repair those ,” he added.
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