There’s an addition to the long list of roads the civic body seems to be needlessly repairing. And this one will be repaired at a cost of Rs150 crore. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to reconstruct the side strips on Linking Road — from Bandra to Andheri — much to the chagrin of residents.
The move is drawing flak because a major portion of these strips are used only by illegally parked vehicles. Therefore spending crores on repairing them will not decongest Linking Road, which is prone to major traffic jams during peak hours.
Linking Road was concretised — starting from Bandra (West) a few years ago. The side strips, however, were set with paver blocks.
Starting from Bandra (West), concretising Linking Road was completed few years back however side portion was done with paver blocks. While the paver blocks were in serviceable condition until May this year, civic body awarded a contract to replace them with mastic asphalt. The repair work has caused more problems than one. It has also led to traffic jams at several places because the contractors have put up plastic barricades on adjoining lanes affecting the flow of traffic. At some places, buses are forced to stop in the middle of the road to pick up passengers.
The BMC’s planning, or lack thereof, has raised serious questions. An activist from Andheri, Sayad Haider Imam, slammed authorities for ‘wasting’ taxpayers’ money.
“This ongoing work is only adding to the traffic jam at several places. Private cars, taxis and tempos have been parked all across Linking Road. So spending Rs150 crore to improve them is not going to serve any purpose because motorists are plying vehicles on the road’s concretised portion,” said Imam.
He said, “Another example of unneccesary road work is Model Town Road in Andheri. It is made of asphalt and is in perfect condition, but the civic body awarded a contract to concretise the stretch, which is totally unnecessary.” Similarly, Cosmopolitan Education Society Road in Andheri and Shivneri Vasahat Road in Jogeshwari are some more examples.
Talzeem Sansare, a local resident, said, “It makes me wonder why the BMC doesn’t do something about Khar Subway, which is an arterial road bursting at its seams. The road is in such poor condition that the concrete has worn out in a couple of places to the extent of revealing the iron bars that were its foundation.”
Chief engineer, road department, Manohar Pawar said, “Repair work on Linking Road was started as per the master plan. We will check the road again. If we found repairs are not required, then we can cancel the work.”