The state government has asked the civic body and other agencies responsible for the city’s roads to fill all potholes within 48 hours (by Sunday morning).
On BMC-managed roads itself, there are 694 pothole locations. Not surprisingly then, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday said it would try to meet the deadline but that it could not assure that it would be able to meet it as it needs a dry spell to do the work.
“The only thing preventing us from filling potholes is rain,” said Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner (roads).
In a meeting on Thursday, Mumbai suburban guardian minister Naseem Khan directed the BMC and other agencies to fill the potholes in 48 hours. He has also asked concerned officials to set up individual vigilance committees to monitor the work carried out so far. “I have asked officials to penalise contractors in cases where roads constructed have developed potholes within the warranty period, and blacklist them,” said Khan who plans to do a survey of city roads from Monday.
Jayant Patil, guardian minister of island city, has also planned a road audit on Friday, followed by a meeting with concerned officials.
“We will need a dry spell of at least four to five days to ensure that potholes are filled. We have set a deadline of Sunday evening,” said Gupta.
To add to its troubles, the Mumbai traffic police have not yet cleared the BMC’s proposal to divert traffic on certain roads between 12 pm and 4 pm so that it can do repair work.
After spending more than Rs 35 crore on preventing and filling potholes, the city has 694 pothole locations that are still to be attended.
In the latest survey of potholes, the BMC has found that the city had potholes at 6,115 locations, of which 5,421 locations had been attended to.
The western suburbs have the most number of pothole locations at 386. The island city has 205 pothole locations, while the eastern suburbs have 103.
The BMC has spent Rs 26 crore on pre-monsoon roadwork and on filling potholes. Now, it will need more money. “We will need more money to fill potholes; there are two more months of monsoon left,” said Gupta.
So far, no contractors have been blacklisted.