With more than 420 roads in Mumbai being repaired simultaneously, the city’s road network is in a complete mess. Various departments of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have dug up roads from Churchgate to Dahisar and CST to Mulund, forcing pedestrians and motorists to grapple with traffic snarls.
The data accessed by HT has revealed the roads department is currently improving 420 important roads in the city and suburbs. Other departments such as hydraulic, sewerage projects, gas services and others, too, have dug up 1,218 trenches, which are yet to be closed. Moreover, the civic body has given permission to a private firm to dig up 61 roads to lay cables for the 4G network. To add to it, several major junctions are being repaired, along with minor repair work on narrow lanes.
Adding to the chaos are the infrastructure projects by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which is constructing the monorail in the island city and Kherwadi flyover on the Western Express Highway. In most cases, the work will go on till the onset of the monsoon, said officials.
In the island city alone, 148 roads have been taken up for revamp, along with 143 roads in eastern suburbs and 129 in the western suburbs.
Citizens have slammed the BMC for poor planning and traffic chaos. “We understand the BMC needs to carry out the work before the monsoon, but it should be done in an organised manner. Even recently-laid roads have been taken up for repair in many areas,” said Rajkumar Sharma, activist, Action for good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI).
“In our locality, the hydraulic and the roads department have dug up the road simultaneously. The entrances to our building have been blocked with debris, and there is no space even for an ambulance or a fire brigade vehicle to enter the lane. When we got in touch with the BMC officials, the departments blamed each other for the mess,” said Dilip Mehta, member, Forjett Hill Residents’ Association, in Grant Road.
The BMC officials maintain the work is being carried out smoothly. “We have taken up road works in advance, so that travelling becomes smoother than last year. Fewer roads have been dug up this time. People should cooperate as the repair work can be carried out only between October and April,” said Ashok Pawar, chief engineer, roads department, BMC.