Compared to the past three years,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) data has reported fewer potholes so far this year. The reason: the BMC’s pothole reporting system is riddled with issues, making it difficult for citizens and BMC officers to register complaints.
Data available with HT shows that in 2015, there were nearly 1,500 potholes on July 3 across the city. In 2014, 1,600 potholes, in 2013, 8,000 potholes, and in 2012, 3,500 potholes. However, according to the BMC’s data, only 284 potholes have been reported this year, of which 60 are yet to be repaired.
The data was uploaded on the civic body’s previous pothole tracking system known as Voice of Citizens, introduced in 2012. It was citizen-friendly and transparent.
Following complaints, the website was shut and a mobile app launched to register complaints. Citizens could register complaints of potholes on the BMC website and helpline numbers - 1292 and 1293.
Technical glitches force the app to shut while uploading photos of potholes. “The app is not functioning properly. It shuts whenever we try to report potholes,” said a civic officer from the road department.
According to the civic body, there are no potholes in N ward (Ghatkopar, Vikhroli). However, in reality, there are potholes on the Rifle Range Road.
Activists slammed the civic body for fudging numbers and manipulating the actual status of potholes. “This is absolutely unacceptable and misleading,” said Nikhil Desai an activist from Matunga.
“The app is working fine. If there is any technical glitch, citizens can use the helplines to complain,” said chief engineer (roads) Sanjay Darade.