Going by the number of new potholes that have been detected on city roads — 379 in just two days — following a few heavy spells of rain, you can expect the roads to be in as bad a condition as they were last year.
Though officials with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) refuse to admit it, the introduction of cold-mix technology to fix potholes and the imposition a 48-hour deadline on contractors to repair potholes have failed to make a positive difference so far.
With repair work moving at a snail’s pace, at least 1,456 potholes on the approximately 1,900 km of BMC roads have not yet been fixed. The maximum number of potholes – 360 – has been reported from the K-west ward, which includes Andheri (west), Vile Parle (west), Jogeshwari (west) and parts of Juhu.
“What is the use of introducing new technology if it is not used properly? It is ultimately the labourer who works on the ground and there is absolute lack of supervision by civic engineers. The result is a shoddy job of filling potholes,” said James John, coordinator of K-ward, Action for Good Governance and Networking in India.
“Potholes on Andheri-Malad Link Road have been filled so carelessly that there are little mounds on the road now,” said Adelle Almeida, 24, who travels by the route every day.
GM Aggarwal, acting chief engineer (roads), said more engineers will be put to work and that the state of the roads would improve in the next few days. “Two of the three technologies used to fill potholes are showing good results. The problem largely lies with old asphalt roads on which potholes develop after just a brief spell of heavy rain. We will deploy more staff and see to it that work is done on time,” said Aggarwal.