New audit report sinks hope of pothole-free monsoon this year | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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New audit report sinks hope of pothole-free monsoon this year

mumbai Updated: Apr 20, 2012 01:26 IST
Kunal Purohit
Kunal Purohit
Hindustan Times
Kunal Purohit

Given the pace at which civic contractors are relaying roads, your monsoon commute is likely to be bumpier than ever. Of the 160 major roads that were to be relaid before the rains arrive barely two months from now, only 61 are ready so far.

This finding is part of the report tabled by SGS consultants, a private third-party auditor appointed by the civic body to oversee ongoing reconstruction of roads in the city, a copy of which is with HT.

The report says that contractors are not only doing shoddy work, but are also executing it slowly. The work on these roads should have been over by June, but with just a fraction of it completed, civic officials say not more than 60% of them will be ready before the deadline.

On their part, contractors blame the appointment of the auditor for the delay, caused, they say, by its strict monitoring and supervision.

Even the reconstructed roads may not provide relief from potholes and trenches as the auditor has found contractors indulging in malpractice while relaying roads of all kinds — concrete, asphalt and paver-block — with the highest number relating to work on concrete roads. Of the 39 instances of malpractice, 17 were on concrete roads, 15 on asphalt roads and seven relate to work on paver-block roads.

Most of these, 57%, were in the western suburbs, which insiders say is a result of illegal sub-contracting that many contractors in this region have indulged in.

The auditor also found that contractors have been charging the civic body for road widening without actually undertaking it.

The chairman of the civic standing technical advisory committee, NV Merani, had said after going through the report: “SGS has pointed out many deficiencies in the way contractors are carrying out road works in the city. We cannot allow work to progress with these faults.”