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Not promises, give concrete plan on potholes: Bombay HC

mumbai Updated: Aug 13, 2013 01:50 IST
Poorvi Kulkarni
Poorvi Kulkarni
Hindustan Times
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Eight governing authorities of the city, on Tuesday, will present to the Bombay high court a detailed road map on the time-bound action they have planned to overhaul the state of roads in the city.

Last month, the Bombay high court, while taking suo motu notice of bad state of roads, sought responses on six pertinent issues from authorities, including the system to award contract, steps taken for checking technology, materials used, and the supervision carried out by officials.

Experts said the blueprints that would be presented by the authorities should be more than a set of assurances and the order by the high court bench be more than a list of directives.

Some even advocated a greater level of intervention from the court towards giving more specific directions and badgering the authorities till its directions are implemented. This will lead to breaking the cartel of contractors and moving towards greater transparency in the way projects are undertaken, they said.

"A lucrative plan will be presented by the authorities, but looking at their past record, there will barely be any follow up. Work will be done effectively only after the court intervenes at every stage of implementation," said Prakash Sanglikar, retired deputy municipal commissioner.

On August 1, HT had reported of how the civic body had not followed the recommendations made by expert committees set up on intervention of the court.

Reaffirming the need to look at intrinsic problems, Gerson D'cunha, convener, Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (Agni) and a member of the 2006 high court-appointed road monitoring committee, said, "The core systems of handing out contracts and the crony capitalism that persists in the civic body needs to be done away with. On the spot supervision must improve and there should be sensitivity and response to the citizens' complaints".

According to experts, civic officials also need to change their tendency of leaving the quality control and supervision measures on the contractors with no tangible check on whether they are followed.

"Neglect of core engineering aspects and technical specifications of work should not be tolerated," said SN Patankar, former chief engineer, roads.