Even after years of facing flak for the condition of city roads, and numerous plans to improve the situation the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) continues to ignore the root of the problem – poor quality of road construction work by its contractors — and has not taken strong action against errant firms.
Of the 13,000-odd potholes reported on the pothole-tracking system since June, 1,160 have developed on recently-built roads that are still under the defect liability period (DLP).
After a road is built or relaid, it is under the DLP for a fixed period of time, and any damage to it during that period is the contractor’s responsibility, who has to undertake repair work free of cost.
Despite this, the BMC has reportedly not bothered to find out which roads have formed potholes despite being in the DLP— indicating shoddy work by contractors — which firm is responsible for the repair, and what the status of repair work is.
“At present, there is no data on the status of roads under the DLP,” said a senior official from the roads department.
The DLP applies to filling of potholes too.
If potholes filled last year reopen again, the potholefilling contractor has to repair it, free of cost.
The DLP for potholefilling is two years.
HT had on Thursday reported that 2,300 potholes filled since June have re-emerged.
Pothole-repair bleeds BMC coffers every year.
This year alone, it has allocated Rs59 crore for filling potholes – despite many roads being under the warranty period.
In March, the civic body had planned to appoint three independent consultants to study newly-laid roads that are under the DLP, apart from a consultant that was appointed to audit all city roads, at the cost of Rs5 lakh.
But despite spending crores of the taxpayer’s money, this monsoon too tells a tale of potholes, traffic snarls, and a nightmarish commute.
SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner, incharge of roads department said 952 potholes on DLP roads have been assigned to road engineers to ensure they are filled by contractors.
“There is a need to build good roads and we will soon formulate a three-year action plan for better roads, so that potholes no longer remain a concern.”