After years of blame game between authorities over the shoddy state of Mumbai's roads, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to take over the two arterial roads – the Eastern Express Highway and the Western Eastern Express Highway – from the public works department.
The decision was taken after a recent meeting of various authorities with the chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya last week.
Civic authorities face flak every year for the pothole-riddled highways citizens have to drive on during the monsoon. Different bodies in charge of maintaining different roads add to the confusion.
“Citizens do not know where to complain for the poor state of highways, as multiple agencies are responsible for maintaining them. We have received many complaints about roads constructed by other agencies. Handing over all roads
to one agency can help matters,” said SVR Srinivas said, additional municipal commissioner.
“The state government has given an in-principle nod to the handing over of highways, but an official communication is yet to be issued,” he said.
Vivek Naik, Secretary, PWD (roads) said, “An in-principle nod has been given by the department to hand over the roads to BMC.”
Citizens, however, are not too enthused. “When the BMC has miserably failed in maintaining its own roads, how do we expect them to maintain roads taken from other agencies?” asked Rajkumar Sharma, co-ordinator of NGO Action for good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI).
Apart from the BMC, agencies such as the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development have constructed roads in the city.
Srinvas said the civic body has also proposed taking over roads under various agencies.
“The Milan road over bridge constructed by the MMRDA has been already taken over. Now, the process of taking over the eastern freeway and the Santacruz Chembur Link Road is underway.”