Civic activists and corporators from opposition parties on Friday criticised the BMC for failing to adhere to the standard operating procedure while fixing potholes and repairing the city’s roads.
In many areas, potholes have been covered with paver blocks or have had cold mix dumped on them. Because of this, many potholes have reappeared just days after being ‘fixed’.
The prescribed procedure to fix potholes involves first cutting them into squares or rectangles, vacuuming these to rid them of moisture and foreign particles, filling them in with asphalt macadam and applying another layer on top before running a road-roller over them to smooth the surface. It takes at least four hours and requires a dry spell.
However, in reality, the asphalt macadam is simply dumped into many potholes before being levelled by a roller. Because of this, the filler material doesn’t remain intact when it rains, causing the potholes to reappear.
James John, a civic activist and member of Action for Good Governance, said, “Because of the poor quality of work, the material doesn’t remain intact. This also causes accidents as bikes easily skid. The whole process needs to be done during dry spells, but the BMC is doing the exact opposite of that.”
The BMC said just 482 potholes have been reported this monsoon, of which only 66 are yet to be repaired. Citing this number, the civic body claims that the city’s roads are better than last year, when over 1,500 potholes had been reported by this time.
Civic activists, however, claim that the actual number of potholes is much higher and that many ‘repaired’ potholes have reappeared with a day or two of being attended to. The BMC needs to cover all open manholes and put up safety warnings near drains that have been left open for de-silting. The court suggested that the BMC consider repairing potholes at night, while making sure not to flout noise rules.
The case is likely to come up for hearing again on July 15.