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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

Pothole repair: Whose job is it anyway?

Poorvi Kulkarni and Kunal Purohit , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 24, 2013
First Published: 08:35 IST(24/7/2013) | Last Updated: 08:40 IST(24/7/2013)

If you think the civic body is not doing enough to keep Mumbai's roads free of potholes, state government agencies such as the public works department (PWD) and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) are worse.

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Citizens travelling on the Eastern and Western Express Highways or other major connecting links in the city may have little luck in getting their complaints addressed anytime soon.

During its audit, HT found that there was little coordination between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the other state agencies responsible for city roads, which meant no checks on pothole repairs.

HT reporters had lodged complaints of potholes on four roads controlled by two different agencies - the PWD (incharge of highways), and the MMRDA.

We found that none of the complaints were attended to efficiently.

Unlike the BMC, these agencies have not set any deadlines for taking action on pothole complaints.

This in turn means that there is no system to fix accountability for delay.

MP Meena, PWD deputy engineer, in charge of the Eastern Express Highway, said:

“Though there is no deadline set per se for carrying out repair work, it is made sure that all complaints received by us are attended to immediately. Regular repair work is carried out by us.”

Despite the complaints reported on the pothole tracking website being forwarded to engineers of state agencies, there is no way to track the progress as the MMRDA and PWD do not follow a time-bound system to respond to the complaints and update their status.

For instance, there was no update on on the potholes reported by HT on the Western Express Highway in Bandra (East) and Jerbai Wadia Road in Parel.

Apart from that, the potholes on the highway in Bandra were shabbily repaired. The filling material was not levelled with the existing surface.

“We have temporarily filled the stretch as there has been continuous rain in the past few days. During a dry spell we will put paver blocks or use cold mix to repair the stretch,” said BB Lohar, PWD executive engineer, in charge, Eastern Express Highway.


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