Less than a week after a Hindustan Times audit showed how poorly the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) had fared in making the city monsoon-ready, the BMC sent its officials to five spots along with HT panelists and sought their feedback on the problems they had listed.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta conceded there was room for improvement. "The quality of road repairs after they are dug up is unsatisfactory. The panelists' suggestions will be considered seriously," he said.
In the audit, panelists said less than 35% of the road work was complete. The poor quality of work and lack of coordination between BMC and MMRDA would cause problems, they said.
Gupta deputed Girish Patil, an executive engineer at the office of the chief engineer (roads), to inspect all spots and submit a report.
During the six-hour visit, the panelists, Patil and other officials inspected more than 10 roads. Pointing out the shoddy repairs after they were dug up, the panelists said the poor quality of paver block work would cause problems. Patil said the problem would be rectified on roads managed by the BMC.
The audit found that the Sion-Mahim Link Road, at the Dharavi T-junction, was the worst stretch inspected. Acting on the audit, the BMC filled the potholes with paver blocks. However, the poor quality of work and heavy rain led to fresh potholes emerging.
Nandkumar Salvi, one of the panelists, said: "Bad patches on paver block roads should be filled only with paver blocks and not asphalt, since it damages the road."
Of the roads along Metro rail and Monorail routes, Patil said they fall under MMRDA jurisdiction. "MMRDA must maintain these roads," he said.
MMRDA, too, said it would take note of the panel's findings. "We will give top priority to repair the bad patch on GD Ambekar Road. We will also rectify problems on the Andheri-Ghatkopar Road. If the JP Road junction is with us, we will maintain it," said Dilip Kawathkar, joint director, MMRDA.