In a move that will waste taxpayers’ money, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is proceeding with repairs to roads that are in good condition, despite the fact that it was alerted about this issue.
HT had reported, on November 8, how the civic body had planned to repair 12 good roads in Kurla, Powai and Ghatkopar at a cost of Rs13 crore. After the issue was highlighted, civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta ordered a review of these road repair contracts.
But HT has found that at the ground level, no action has been taken. Road department officials waited for some time, and then began repair work on a few roads. These paver block roads are minor ones, not arterial ones.
The roads include Gopal Morya Marg and Muktadevi Mandir Marg in Kurla; Tunga Village internal road in Powai; and Laxmi Narayan Mandir Road in Ghatkopar. These roads will now be covered with asphalt.
The work on Laxmi Narayan Mandir road in Ghatkopar was taken up recently, along with repairs on Gopal Morya Marg at Kurla. A source from BMC’s roads department said, “Initially, senior officials were asked to wait and not to take up repair work on these 12 roads, but after some time, they decided to go ahead with repairs.”
Another civic official said, “These roads were selected for repairs under pressure from local politicians. So, fearing the consequences if these politicians were to be disobeyed, the civic body has decided not to cancel these contracts.”
Moreover, HT had highlighted the proposed repair of three other roads in good condition at the cost of Rs29 crore; these roads are in Bandra and Khar. Under political pressure, the civic body is still going ahead with these proposed repair works, BMC sources said.
Recently, civic chief Mehta had ordered the cancellation of contracts worth Rs200 crore for repair and reconstruction work on 153 roads that were in no need of repairs at all.
Mehta was not available for comment.