THE BOMBAY High Court sought on Thursday a response from municipal corporations, municipal councils, zilla parishads and panchayats in the state over “deficits” in terms of condition of roads and the reason for lack of maintenance.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice NM Jamdar asked the authorities to make a representation before the court on the next date of hearing, November 8, and inform the court whether “lack of funds” was one of the reasons preventing them from carrying out timely repair works.
The Chief Justice said, “The problem of potholes isn’t restricted to the roads in Mumbai. The roads in small towns and at the zilla parishad and panchayat levels might also be bad. I also believe that lack of adequate funds might be the primary reason why the authorities were unable to repair and maintain roads. That is why they must come to court and tell us if they get adequate funds or not and if they require additional funds?”
“I want them to tell me what are the problems that prevent them from repairing potholes that cause road accidents,” she added.
The court has also directed the municipal administration, urban development and rural development departments to inform all the authorities concerned to make a representation before it on November 8.
The bench was hearing a suo moto Public Interest Litigation on the poor condition of roads across Mumbai, and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC’s) failure to prevent and repair potholes every monsoon.
During the last hearing in August this year, the court had ordered constitution of a nodal agency to look into all potholes and road repair work-related complaints from across the state.
The Chief Justice had also pointed out that the situation relating to “potholes had not been solved from 2016 to 2017,” while asking, “How many more people do you want to eliminate till the next monsoon?”