Potholes keep buses off roads
The pothole-ridden roads not only affect the commuters travelling in buses, but also the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking.mumbai Updated: Aug 07, 2010 02:01 IST
The pothole-ridden roads not only affect the commuters travelling in buses, but also the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking.
BEST authorities claim that the bad roads damage the vehicles' motor and tyres and also reduce the speed of the bus. About 100 buses are sent to depots every day for maintenance, mostly caused by the bumpy roads. This means less number of buses on the roads. The BEST has a fleet of 4,700 buses.
"Every repair costs us around Rs 6,500, while the daily earning of each bus is approximately Rs 6,000," said Sunil Ganacharya, BEST committee member. "Why doesn't the municipal corporation fix the roads? It will cost them no more than Rs 3,000 to fill each pothole."
He added: "Commuters suffer because the number of services has dropped. Moreover, drivers have slow down to negotiate the potholed roads, which subsequently affects the schedule at depots."
Even the new buses, bought under the Centre's Jawaharlal Nehru National Renewal Mission scheme, too are facing the brunt of pothole-ridden roads.
"I avoid sitting on the seats above the tyres because every time the bus drives over a pothole, I feel my spine will snap," said Ghatkopar resident Sumit Singh, who travels by bus to his Saki Naka workplace.
At BEST committee meetings, members demanded that the administration take up the issue with the BMC.
"As the Metro rail and flyover works are on at several places, the roads are in a bad condition. We are doing our best to fill up the potholes," said A.V. Ralkar, chief engineer (Roads).