An incident similar to the one on Monday, when an attempt to dodge a pothole killed a 19-year-old riding a bike, was almost repeated on Tuesday when Ritesh Mehta, a video editor by profession, was driving his car on Aarey road. This time, the biker was saved.
“The bike rider was driving adjacent to my car and was trying to avoid a pothole. He saw a car coming from the opposite direction and applied sudden brakes,” said Mehta, who travels daily from Khar to Powai via Aarey road.
Hindustan Times on Tuesday visited the road and found it dotted with potholes. At many spots, the potholes were found simply filled with stones without asphalt or proper leveling.
“At least one bus breaks down daily due to potholes on the road. The authorities came to fill the potholes around ten days ago and filled them with stones without asphalt. Since the small stones are not laid properly, they hit pedestrians as well as windscreens of cars when they are accelerated,” added Mehta.
Aarey Road that connects Western Express Highway to Goregaon, Marol and Powai is a narrow road with three toll checkpoints. According to the toll collection authorities, a revenue of Rs60,000 to Rs70,000 is generated per day.
The public works department said a dry spell of at least three to four days is needed for repairing the entire road. “The repairing work is going on and will finish soon. The spots where no asphalt was used will be covered on Wednesday. High- quality asphalt that can be used in rains as well as normal asphalt will be used,” said BB Lohar, chief executive engineer, PWD.
Commuters say defective streetlights add to the danger at night. “Defunct street lights and bad roads is the recipe for accidents,” said Shane Fernandes, who injured his leg 10 days ago in an accident on the road.