Rs 5,000 cr. Cost of these roads | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Rs 5,000 cr. Cost of these roads

mumbai Updated: Jul 23, 2011 01:28 IST
Sujit Mahamulkar

The civic body has some explaining to do. It has spent Rs 5,000 crore of taxpayers' money over the past five years on building and maintaining roads in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) data shows.

That's close to Rs 3 crore spent per kilometre of road. The BMC looks after 1,900km of roads in Mumbai.

Why then are you enduring yet another season of pothole-filled roads, back-breaking drives and traffic congestions? Why are our roads in such a sorry state?

The BMC's data shows there were more than 6,000 potholes in the city last week, as reported in the July 20 edition of Hindustan Times, which is running a campaign on the state of the city's roads.

Experts attribute the bad condition of the roads to substandard construction work.

"Filling potholes during the monsoon is not a solution. The only solution is to construct good quality roads. Money is currently being spent in poor quality work," said Nandkumar Salvi, a retired BMC chief engineer and member of the court-appointed road monitoring committee.

The civic budget figures show that the BMC has spent Rs 5,383 crore in five years, till March 2010.

It allotted Rs 1,085 crore in 2010-11 (the details of amount spent are yet to be declared) and has earmarked Rs 727 crore for the current year. So the actual expenditure in seven years could cross Rs 7,000 crore.

Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said he would have to verify how much amount was spent on the city's roads.

"However, we have instructed the roads department to fill all potholes in the next two to three days as there's a dry spell," he said.

Maharashtra's most appreciated road, the 95-km Mumbai-Pune Expressway was built for Rs 1,600 crore.

It's an eight-lane cement-concrete road built in hilly terrain.

The two chief agencies that maintain city roads, the BMC and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, swung into action after HT's first report on Wednesday.

"It is shocking that after spending so much money the condition of the roads is so pathetic," said Nayana Kathpalia, co-convener of NGO Citispace.

"No proper system is in place, work is not supervised, there's no political will and the civic administration does not take pride in anything so work is shoddy despite such hefty expenditure," said Kathpalia.