EVEN AS residents of Thane launched a campaign to demand road repairs in the satellite city, residents of Kalyan, another far suburb, have found themselves plagued by potholed roads, just a month after five lives were lost in separate incidents in the township owing to potholes.
On July 9, Manisha Bhoir, a municipal school peon, had died after the bike she was riding pillion skidded over potholes in Shivaji Nagar. After multiple protests and several warnings by the authorities, some stretches of the road were repaired.
“The roads are once again ridden with potholes and they are bigger and deeper than the ones we had earlier. Not only do they slow traffic, but now they are also a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other microorganisms,” said Shruti Gavkhare, a resident of Kalyan. With Kalyan reporting three deaths from leptospirosis, and several cases of malaria as well, residents are now worried about the waterlogged potholes. “The water gets trapped in the silt of the material that was used to fill them up. In some cases it stinks,” said Tanisha Agrawal, another resident.
Municipal authorities said potholes have come up due to excessive rainfall in the region. According to the IMD officials, it has rained at least 20 per cent more than average in the region, including at Thane city and the farther suburbs.
“The rains don’t stop long enough for us to do permanent repairs. We had filled up the potholes with gritstone and other things, which get washed away in the rain,” said Prasad Thakur, public relations officer of the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation. “We undertake regular fogging and other exercises to control the mosquito breeding and other pests,” he added.
The residents of Kalyan have now demanded a written response from officials.
“They should give us in writing that they have not filled the potholes properly, so that we can take the matter to higher authorities. This is akin to them saying that we should suffer the menace because they didn’t do the work properly,” said Tulsidas Barvekar, a resident.