The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has slapped a fine of Rs 39 lakh on all the six contractors involved in filling potholes in Mumbai, as they supplied substandard material of ‘cold-mix’ for pothole filling.
Civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta had ordered an inspection of the contents of ‘cold mix’ used to fill potholes across the 24 wards in the city in June, after several cases were reported of the recently repaired potholes washed away with rains.
The BMC has come under a lot of flak for the city’s roads dissolving in potholes after the first few showers, even after spending crores on road repairs before the rains. This year, the civic body had earmarked Rs 14 crore for pothole filling works — Rs 2 crore for each of the seven zones in the city.
All the six contractors were fined ion the range of Rs 3 lakh to Rs 8 lakh, for using sub-standard material for road repair. Confirming the action, Mehta said, “We have fined all the contractors as they failed the quality test.”
The cold mix technology to fill potholes had been introduced by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in 2012 to replace the conventional hot mix technology, which could not prevent filled potholes from being washed away in the rain.
The hot-mix technology included the use of hot asphalt with stone chips to fill potholes. The cold mix technology was supposed to be quicker and resistant to wear and tear for long time.
However, despite the new technology being more expensive, the city’s roads still dissolved into potholes during the first few weeks of the monsoon, with citizens from across the city reporting them on the BMC’s website.