Despite the objections raised by the opposition and road engineers, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday passed a Rs3-crore proposal to use pothole-filling machines that were purchased in 2008.
According to corporators, the three pothole-filling machines were purchased at a cost of Rs68 crore. Meant to fill the patches on roads, the machines were touted as a way to reduce the number of potholes in the city.
In the past, the BMC used excuses such as the lack of expertise to use the machine and the lapse by contractors for not using them.
“The machines are useless. Contractors don’t use them even during the dry spell to carry out patch work,” said Rais Shaikh, group leader of Samajwadi Party and a member of standing committee, adding the civic body was wasting the taxpayers’ money.
Of the 2,000 potholes reported on the BMC’s website this year, more than 1,700 potholes have been repaired using the cold mix technology.
If sources at BMC are to be believed, the machines require both hot and cold mixes, so it is difficult to use them during the monsoon.
Meanwhile, the civic administration appointed a contractor, who will be in charge of filling potholes in the island city, western and eastern suburbs for a year. “Cold mix is a better way of filling potholes than using machines. The latter is time-consuming and it is difficult to use it for urgent repairs,” said a senior civic official.