The public works department (PWD) doesn’t have enough funds to maintain and repair roads.
PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal made this announcement in the state assembly during a debate on Friday.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Mangalprabhat Lodha had questioned the minister about the poor state of roads in the city. Opposition leader Eknath Khadse said the government was responsible for bad roads across the state.
Parts of the eastern and western expressways come under the PWD and its subsidiary, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC). They maintain all the flyovers in the city. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority is also incharge of a few roads.
“It is true that the city’s roads are in bad shape, but it is also true that a very small part (almost 4%) of these roads are maintained by my department,” said Bhujbal. “We are trying to repair them with whatever financial resources we have. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has the maximum number of roads under its control so the onus of repair falls on the civic body.”
Claiming that he was helpless, Bhujbal said, “My department doesn’t have enough money to take up new constructions. As of now, we are spending only on repairing jobs.”
“We had demanded Rs7,200 crore in the budget for 2011-12, but we got Rs2,700 crore,” he added.
While Shiv Sena corporator Ravindra Waikar defended the BMC, Congress leader Baba Siddiqui and Amin Patel alleged that there was large-scale corruption in the civic body’s roads department.