Rides on highways in Mumbai may get bumpy again this monsoon | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Rides on highways in Mumbai may get bumpy again this monsoon

Mumbai city news: “Projects to repair roads before the monsoon have been scrapped. Now, the repairs will be carried out after monsoon,” Dilip Kawathkar, deputy metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.

mumbai Updated: Jun 29, 2017 01:28 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Traffic jam on Western Express Highway after the heavy showers on Tuesday.
Traffic jam on Western Express Highway after the heavy showers on Tuesday.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Motorists in the city are likely to experience bumpy rides on the Western Express Highway (WEH) and Eastern Express Highway (EEH) as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has scrapped bids to carry out pre-monsoon repairs on the two arterial roads. The MMRDA, which was given the responsibility to take care of the two express highways in May, scrapped the bids worth Rs13 crore after they attempted four times to get contractors and failed.

Lakhs of commuters use these roads daily.

“Projects to repair roads before the monsoon have been scrapped. Now, the repairs will be carried out after monsoon,” Dilip Kawathkar, deputy metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA. He added that they had finished de-silting nullahs adjacent to the express highways.

Senior MMRDA officials said that another reason for scrapping the projects was that it is too late to carry out repairs as the monsoon had set in. Every monsoon, the two arterial roads are riddled with potholes which slows down traffic. However, MMRDA officials said that they would monitor the roads and repair potholes at regular intervals. The situation could worsen this year as a part of the western express highway has been barricaded for construction of Metro.

“We invited bids for repairs and divided the highways into stretches but no contractors came forward. The main reason for such a poor response was the ban on the quarries in Thane which has resulted in a severe shortage of construction material,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

Since the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned quarrying in Thane, there has been a shortage of construction material. The official added that the contractors have had to source construction material from far-flung areas such as Raigad or Palghar, which escalates the cost.