After being criticised for the increase in potholes and for indulging in a blame game over the jurisdiction of roads, the Shiv Sena visited the pothole-ridden Swami Vivekanand Road — which stretches from Bandra to Dahisar — on Sunday. Mayor Snehal Ambekar led the delegation, while standing committee chairman Yashodhar Phanse took stock of the potholes on this busy stretch.
The mayor blamed extensive trenching — digging for the purpose of laying underground utilities such as water pipelines and storm water drain lines — for the potholes and told the administration to appoint a Deputy Municipal Commissioner (DMC) to look after road repairs.
She added that the BMC should send notices to authorities who carried out the trenching work in a shoddy manner.
With the onset of the monsoon, motorists on the 28-km-long road struggle as large potholes add to traffic jams on this stretch.
“Since part of the road was under repairs, potholes appeared at some places. Trenching damaged the cement concrete road. Strips of the paver block road have come out,” Ambekar told HT.
“I have instructed officers to fix the potholes within a week,” said the mayor, who also inspected stretches near the Saayba Hotel and Kelkar Chowk in Bandra (West), along with Khar Road, Santacruz and Vile Parle.
Activists slammed politicians for organising these visits and wasting public money. “These visits waste the taxpayers’ money as vehicles and manpower are required,” said Nikhil Desai, a citizen activist from Matunga.
Ahead of the upcoming civic elections, the saffron allies have started sparring over potholes, blaming each other. The Shiv Sena had visited roads under the state government’s jurisdiction, such as the pothole-ridden Western Express Highway (WEH) and the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road.
PWD minister Chandrakant Patil and the BJP took stock of the WEH and promised a pothole-free stretch next week. Patil blamed the Shiv Sena-led BMC , saying it was responsible for repairs on this stretch. The BMC, however, denied taking over the repairs of this road.