After having spent several crores on repairing shoddily constructed roads, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has come up with a way of making contractors accountable for their work.
How effective is the BMC’s online pothole-tracking system? Not very, if the results of a test run conducted by HT are anything to go by.
Citizens have found it easier to register complaints through this system, it must be conceded, but lackadaisical planning and shoddy execution of the work has ensured that Mumbai’s pothole problems are not going to disappear any time soon.Spanning across three days, HT visited 17 spots in the city on July 24, uploading images of large and dangerous potholes using both, the Pothole Tracking System application for Android phones as well as the social networking site Facebook.
At the end of the test run, we found that no contractor had attended to eight out of the 17 spots even three days after the potholes were reported through the ambitious pothole tracking software.
Six spots showed signs of shoddy work, while work was underway at one spot. Only two complaints were attended to satisfactorily.
Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner, said, “If the repair has been shoddy, then it’s clearly a case of bad quality work, which is something we will not tolerate.” Gupta said the quality of work on the locations that HT found substandard will be tested. “We will take strict cognisance of the six spots where the work seems to be shoddy.”
Despite providing three days, locations and images of all the potholes to the BMC, the ride on roads such as RA Kidwai Marg in Wadala and the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road continued to be bumpy, even on Friday.Complaints were also posted on the Facebook wall of the Pothole Tracking System page, highlighting the trouble caused by an open crater at the entry point to the Annabhau Sathe flyover at Suman Nagar.
Despite claiming to be easily accessible on the social networking page, there was no response from Probity Soft, the company which developed the system and is operating it for the civic body.