Despite the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) spending Rs42crore on fixing potholes this year, they still reappear on roads across the city, which is to be developed into a Smart City. What goes wrong every monsoon when even after months of preparation, residents have to deal with the menace of potholes and no method seems to be working?
The reason: Standard operating procedure is not followed when fixing potholes. According to prescribed procedure, a square or rectangle is created around the pothole-ridden patch using cutters, and then it is cleared of any foreign materials or moisture. Following this, the pothole is filled with the cold mix (tar). The layer is then coated with a specific material and levelled by a road-roller to smoothen the surface.
However, what is seen is that the potholes are just filled with the mixture and then levelled by rollers. There is no cutting to shape nor is the patch coated after being filled with cold mix.
“Travelling during the monsoon has become a harrowing task. It cannot be this difficult for the BMC to build good-quality roads and follow simple steps to fill potholes,” said Shashikant Deodhar, Goregaon resident.
When HT visited several roads in the western, eastern suburbs and island city, some potholes were filled with just cold mix or fixed with paver blocks, which will loosen after heavy rainfall. At Bandra-Kurla Complex towards Kalanagar, a large crater on the road was fixed with paver blocks.
According to BMC data, 2,477 potholes were reported as of Tuesday, including 980 in the western suburbs followed by 820 in the island city and 672 in eastern suburbs. Only 173 of the 2,477 have been attended to.
“The BMC is turning a blind eye to the menace. They are just updating the data to show how much work they have done. But in reality, the potholes are reappearing,” said James John, coordinator, AGNI.