To avoid potholes, just take roads less travelled

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jul 01, 2016 00:54 IST
The western express highway has witnessed more than 70 potholes in the past few days. (Vidya Subramanian/HT)

Smooth travel will always remain a distant dream for travellers from the western suburbs, it seems.

Ten days of continuous rain has created 188 potholes on Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation-maintained roads and more than 100 potholes on flyovers and highways handled by the state agencies.

Of the 188 potholes, 104 have been reported in the western suburbs, with most in K-west (Andheri, Jogeshwari and Vile Parle) and P-north (Malad east and west) wards.

The western express highway has witnessed more than 70 potholes in the past few days.

After the shutting of the pothole-tracking system, the civic body has gone to its old method of collecting data from 24 wards, leading to a delay in filling the potholes.

With no single window to record complaints, the BMC is struggling to get the exact number of potholes on a daily basis. The civic body’s toll-free number (1292/1293) recorded 308 complaints till Thursday evening.

However, in the wake of the road scam, civic officials have included penal action as one of the punishments for shoddy work. In cases where potholes have resurfaced after fixing them once, sources said, the contractors will not be paid for the repair.

“Of the 188 potholes, 132 have been repaired. Multiple portals are leading to many complaints related to the same potholes, which is why the number of complaints is 308,” said a civic official from the roads department, on condition of anonymity.

The public works department (PWD) looks after the maintenance of highways and the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) takes care of the flyovers on them.

A PWD official said they have received no complaints on potholes.

“We have formed about seven squads, with each looking after a six-seven-km stretch. On finding a pothole, a mobile van, equipped with cold mix (tar), reaches the spot and fills the pothole,” said SS Deshmukh, executive engineer, PWD.

Meanwhile, MSRDC officials said many flyovers on the highways are maintained by the Mumbai Entry Points Limited, which collects toll at all five entry points to the city.

Some flyovers fall in the defect liability period, which means the contractors are responsible for their maintenance.

“We have not come across any case of potholes on the five flyovers, which are directly maintained by us,” said PS Mandpe, joint managing director of the corporation.

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