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Thursday, October 01, 2020

Mumbai’s ‘challenge’ ends today: Now, civic officials will call each complainant to check if potholes filled

1,670 complaints from Nov 1 to 6, at least 500 unaddressed

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | November 7, 2019 9:31:53 am
mumbai, mumbai road scam, mumbai road repair scam, mumbai road scam probe, cbi mumbai road scam, bmc, bmc mumbai road scam, mumbai news The pothole is opposite Infinite Mall on the Link road at Malad west. (Express photo by Kevin DSouza, Mumbai in 2016)

After urging citizens to report potholes and win Rs 500 if they were not repaired within 24 hours under ‘Pothole Challenge-2019’, the BMC is now planning to call complainants to verify if their grievances have been attended.

The civic administration, which was criticised by corporators for rolling out the scheme without consultation, received 1,670 complaints about potholes between November 1 and 6, officials said. Around 500 complaints of these, however, remained unattended and the civic body is likely to reward complainants Rs 500 after the scheme ends Thursday.

At a Standing Committee meeting Wednesday, officials from roads department said civic officials will call each complainant to ensure their complaints had been readdressed and they were satisfied with the BMC’s response. Four officials from Traffic department would be roped in by road department to make these calls, they said.

“…I will be roping in four engineers from the traffic department to carry out this work. Since this challenge was launched, the officials are working more efficiently and work is also fast-tracked. We are attending to complaints that are still pending,” Sanjay Darade, chief engineer of Roads and Traffic department told the Standing Committee. The civic body launched its pothole challenge on November 1, asking citizens to send pictures of potholes across the city. Though the civic body had announced they will deduct the proposed fine amount from civic officials and contractors concerned, how it will be collected and paid to citizens is still ambiguous.

BMC launched the challenge on November 1. Twitter

Darade said of the total 1,670 complaints uploaded on ‘Fixit app’, 1,148 had been fixed. “The pending work is mainly on those which are with other agencies. These potholes will be filled after coordinating with these agencies,” Darade said.

Corporators, meanwhile, expressed their displeasure over the scheme and said that even a week after it was introduced, there is no clarity on who will pay the money that needs to be given to the citizens and how. Ravi Raja, Congress corporator and Opposition leader, said, “The BMC administration is only fooling the citizens and not giving any clarity on when the complainants in whose cases potholes were not filled even after 24 hours, will receive the reward.”

Corporators have questioned the quality of material used to fill potholes and alleged that the work was not up to the mark. They also questioned the quality of cold mix material used for pothole filling and demanded that it be changed.

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