With the monsoon just a month away, the civic body is yet again struggling to complete road repairs before its May 31 deadline. Predictably, incomplete roads, potholes and traffic snarls await Mumbaiites this monsoon. This year, a major reason for the delay has been the shutting down of more than 100 stone quarries in Thane, leaving contractors in a scramble for raw material.
On Saturday, civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta, instructed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) roads department to come up with a concrete plan.
At a review meeting, Mehta said if contractors cannot complete the work before the deadline, then the roads department should issue short-notice tenders, after which the civic body will provide raw material. A short-notice tender means that a bid will be opened within three to four days instead of a month. For the highest bidder among the contractors, the BMC will provide them with raw material and adjust the cost. A civic official said, “It will be difficult for us to source raw material. But we have identified some quarries in Raigad district and thus we should be able to provide it in case of short-notice tenders.”
Mehta said it was the contractors’ responsibility to get raw material and complete work in a stipulated time. Mehta also said that action would be initiated against contractors if work is not completed on time, according to a source.
Taking stock of the pre-monsoon work, Mehta has instructed the assistant municipal commissioners and deputy municipal commissioners to visit nullahs and inspect the desilting work along with several visits to road-repair sites.
According to a source, officials are also expected to figure the amount of material required to completed road work and the material available. They also have to identify important roads, where work has to be completed on a war-footing and roads that need to be brought to a safe-stage (made half motorable) before monsoon.
A senior civic official said, “We will have to be on field visit every Tuesday and Thursday and make sure that the work is carried out appropriately.”