South Mumbai has been left without a pothole-filling contractor.
In the first big blow to the civic body’s much-hyped use of technologies on our roads, one of three new techniques used to fill potholes has been termed a failure by the civic body. ‘Patchmaker’, one of the three technologies short-listed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to supply their cold-mix products, has been found to be wearing off at many locations where it was used to fill potholes.
The contractor was given the contract to fill potholes in south Mumbai as well as in Bandra and Khar.
Running out of patience with the product, the BMC has now decided to pull the plug on the contractor. As a contingency measure, the civic body will now divide the areas between the two remaining technologies, which have been short-listed - Wonder patch & Road bond.
Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said, “We gave the company repeated extensions. Despite that, we found that the product wasn’t helping solve the pothole problem. Hence, we have decided to terminate our contract with them.”
Gupta said that although this was a setback, the civic body would manage with the two other technologies. “This is the first time that we even tried using cold-mixes to fill potholes. Hence, we were bound to have some setbacks. However, we are exploring other technologies to use in filling potholes next year."
Technical experts have often recommended that the civic body make use of cold-mixes as they are long lasting and more efficient. The BMC has allotted nearly 40 crores to the road repair work this year.
Civic officials said the programme to use cold-mixes will suffer.
“The other two shortlisted technologies do not produce enough of their material to cover the whole city. If the BMC thinks that the city’s pothole problems will be taken care of by simply allotting the work, then it is wishful thinking.”
Shaunak Datar from Shaunak Infrastructure declined to comment on the issue.