There are just 106 potholes left to be filled on the city’s roads, if the civic body is to be believed.
Figures provided by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation show that out of the 24,736 potholes reported, it has filled 24,630 potholes. However, this figure does not include potholes formed on roads maintained by other government agencies such as the MMRDA, the public works department and the MSRDC.
“The work of filling potholes has been going with good speed. The central agency is doing a great job and we are sure that all the reported potholes will be filled shortly,” said GS Agrawal, deputy chief engineer (roads). The work was assigned to the central agency, after repeated complaints about poor quality of work owing to the contractor-corporator-official nexus.
Shantanu Kulkarni of Probity Soft, the company that has set up the online pothole tracking system for the BMC, said that fewer potholes have been reported in the past one to two weeks.
Activists, however, question the BMC’s pothole figures and allege that the numbers are misleading.
“What about all the potholes that have not been photographed and uploaded on the BMC’s website?” asked Rajkumar Sharma, a Chembur-based activist and member of Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI). “Instead of being satisfied with the process of detection and filling of potholes, the BMC should focus on constructing roads on which potholes don’t form.”
Apart from filling the existing potholes, the BMC also plans to audit filled potholes from the second week of October, in order to check the efficacy of the cold-mix technology and the quality of work done by the contractors. The audit will be conducted by experts from institutes such as the IIT, VJTI or the BMC-appointed Swiss firm, SGS.
“Around 50% of the filled potholes will be checked as part of the audit. The contractors’ work — whether the potholes have been filled in a proper, scientific manner — will also be checked,” said an official, on condition of anonymity.