In a first, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday ordered the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to take charge of all roads in Mumbai, irrespective of which authority is incharge of it, to ensure a smooth ride for citizens during the Ganesh festival.
According to civic body’s estimates, Mumbai has more than 1,900km of roads, of which two-third are maintained by the BMC, while the rest are handled by agencies such as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Agency (MMRDA), public works department (PWD), Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT).
The authorities have often been seen squabbling over maintenance of roads in their jurisdiction, resulting in potholed roads across the city. “In the review meeting on Monday, the CM said the civic body should repair all city roads and ensure they are in good condition ahead of Ganpati. The idea is to make the local body accountable for these roads,” said Swadheen Kshatriya, chief secretary.
Senior civic officials said the civic body would soon start inspecting all roads. “The contractors for all wards have been asked to maintain the roads properly. We will crack down on those found erring,” said the official.
The state government has also said all Ganesh mandals will have to ensure the vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow around the pandal does not get affected. “All cities in the state that witness grand Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations have been asked to follow the policy framed by the BMC, as it has been approved by the Bombay high court,” said Kshatriya.
According to the policy, each mandal will have to appoint a committee to look into traffic-related complaints. “The policy also implies that each mandal will have to come up with a plan to manage traffic. There will also be a toll-free number to address the grievances of citizens who feel the traffic flow has been affected,” said the civic official.
Single-window clearance for Ganesh mandals
CM Devendra Fadnavis has said all civic corporations across the state must offer a single-window clearance for Ganesh mandals. “As the mandals need around seven-eight permissions from the civic body, they had requested for a single-window clearance. The CM has now asked civic bodies to put the system in place,” said Swadheen Kshatriya, chief secretary.