Since only about a quarter of sanctioned repair work of major roads has begun so far, the civic body, worried about missing the May 31 deadline, has decided to crack the whip on errant contractors by fining them Rs10,000 a day from Monday.
Of the 161 major roads to be repaired, work has started on less than 40 — two roads in the island city, and 14 and 20 in the eastern and western suburbs respectively. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had issued letters to contractors last week asking them to start work by Monday or pay the fine.
The work was supposed to start in October, but got mired in administrative delays, and was then held up due to the no-objection certificate (NOC) from the traffic police. The traffic police granted the NOC on November 4. The civic body has to complete the Rs570-crore project by May 31, when the NOC lapses.
Officials also pin the blame on demands by elected representatives to conduct bhoomipujan (inauguration) ceremonies as the civic elections are around the corner. “The first phase of the work will have to be completed by January 31, and the last leg must be finished by May 31,” said Satish Badwe, chief engineer (roads).