Five days after Hindustan Times launched its campaign on the dismal state of the city’s roads this monsoon, mayor Shraddha Jadhav on Sunday said citizens could call at her residence and complain about roads that have not yet been repaired.
Jadhav, who is the head of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said she would visit selected sites and ensure that the civic body does its job. The BMC looks after 1,900 km of the city’s roads.
“I have received complaints from Ghatkopar and Andheri, and I will visit these spots on Monday,” Jadhav said, adding that she would continue inspecting affected roads in the coming week.
Data with the civic body showed that last week there were 6,000 potholes across 1,100 locations in the city. This despite
the BMC having spent more than Rs 5,000 crore building and maintaining roads in the city over the past five years, as reported in HT’s July 23 edition.
Jadhav admitted that contractors hired to do the job often ignore the BMC’s specifications for filling potholes. To keep a check on this, Jadhav said she would instruct the BMC’s vigilance department to monitor the work.
“I have instructed contractors to follow the proper method. We will stop payment to contractors found doing poor work,” she said. Maintaining the roads is also the responsibility of the MMRDA, MSRDC and the PWD, as most major roads and bridges come under their jurisdiction, said Bhalchandra Shirsat, chairperson of the civic improvement committee. “Most land in Mumbai is reclaimed so when it rains heavily, roads develop potholes. Concretisation is the best solution,” he said.
Mangesh Sangle, the MNS group leader from Vikhroli blamed the saffron alliance, which rules the BMC, for the poor condition of the roads. “Potholes are the result of the BJP-Sena alliance.” The mayor assured Mumbaiites that the condition of roads would get better soon. “All roads were in bad shape two or three days ago. But now work has started. I have visited a few roads and they have improved,” Jadhav said.