The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday asked the civic bodies of Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai to come up with a mechanism to fix the pothole menace on arterial roads by Thursday.
The division bench of justice AS Oka and justice CV Badang also asked the municipal corporations to study the suggestions that the court had earlier proposed to fix the problem.
The bench was hearing a suo motu public interest litigation regarding the roads in and around Mumbai. It has included several other petitions about the bad condition of Eastern and Western Express Highways.
The court observed that the municipal corporations have failed to fill the potholes formed on arterial roads owing to incessant digging. “What is the mechanism to monitor the state of the roads? You can't deny that your roads are riddled with potholes. Besides, who is responsible for the incessant digging all across the city? And who is supposed to fill them up?” asked the judges.
The court has also sought to know how road works contracts are awarded by the civic bodies.
In February, interveners Ruju Thakker and Kamal Khata had submitted suggestions to the court to resolve the issue. The civic bodies were supposed to take these into account and come up with a mechanism by Tuesday. However, the corporations told the court that they had received no instructions.
The HC had asked the civic bodies to provide a three-level approach for grievance redressal for potholes, under which complaints can be lodged through their website, helpline number or through SMS.
On July 24, 2013, sitting Bombay HC judge justice Gautam Patel had written a letter to the then chief justice, highlighting the pothole menace. This letter was later converted into a PIL.