The first few showers have washed off various authorities’ promises of a smooth ride on city roads this monsoon.
In less than a month, and with the monsoon still to really set in, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has detected 2,224 potholes on city roads.
The figures have been compiled based on both citizen’s complaints and inspections by civic engineers. While 1,701 have been attended to and filled, the remaining 523 are yet to be attended to.
Of these, 2,184 potholes have developed on roads maintained by the BMC, while the 78 are on roads maintained by agencies such as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and the Mumbai port trust.
The western suburbs are the worst affected, with 989 potholes detected so far. These potholes have emerged even though the civic body, after having been severely criticised for the pathetic condition of roads last year, had allotted Rs40 crore to prevent and fill potholes using four new technologies this year.
While this raises a question mark about the BMC’s claims that the city is rain-ready, senior civic engineers say these potholes could be pre-existing. A senior civic official from the roads department of the BMC said: “Unfortunately, the BMC has woken up to these potholes very late. These 2,000-odd potholes must have always existed and have officially been detected now, since we appointed contractors to fill them. “
Acting chief engineer, roads department, GM Aggarwal said, “The priority is to get these potholes attended to immediately, before the rains hit the city. We can’t ascertain whether these potholes were recently formed or have existed for a while now.”