After coming under severe criticism for the state of the city’s roads, and claiming that filling potholes was their priority, it seemed fairly certain that road repair work would be the prime concern for the elected representatives when they came together for Wednesday’s general body meeting.
However, what emerged as the hot topic of discussion in the meeting was a proposal to rename 42 roads and chowks in the city. Not only that, not a word was spoken on the condition of roads in the city.
After facing the flak for this state of affairs, officials insisted that work on filling potholes had been taken up on a priority basis.
However, the quality of work is suspect and potholes have reappeared in many areas, with the brief showers on Monday and Tuesday. Despite this, the civic body does not seem to have realised the gravity of the issue, the concerns it has raised among Mumbaiites.
Citizen activists have expressed their displeasure over the corporators’ actions. “This is preposterous and unacceptable. It shows that our representatives are not in the least interested in issues of public interest, like roads, but are more concerned about frivolous things,” said GR Vora, a citizen activist from Matunga.
“Utterly disgraceful,” said Nayana Kathpalia, from Citispace, a non-government organisation.
“Ahead of civic elections, people would think twice before voting,” she added.
Corporators, however, have once again been quick to defend themselves and claim that they are not ignoring the problem. “I wrote a letter to the civic administration to find out the solution to this problem, especially with regard to the monsoon,” said Ashish Shelar, Bharatiya Janata Party leader in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
Mayor Shraddha Jadhav who heads the BMC and also presides over general body meetings also insisted that the ruling parties were taking the potholes problem seriously. “We are planning to discuss the same in the general body meeting on Friday,” she said.
Meanwhile, the civic body has temporarily stopped the work on filling potholes, saying that work could not be continued as many of the roads were wet.
Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner (roads), said: “The work has been started but again the rain has disrupted it.”