The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will have to inform the Bombay high court (HC) of the measures it has taken to address the issues related to pot-hole ridden roads within four weeks. On Friday, the court sought to know from the civic body if they had actually addressed the concerns raised in earlier orders.
The division bench of justice Anoop V Mohta and justice NM Jamdar was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on the terrible condition of the city’s roads. In a series of orders passed last year, the corporation had said it would look into various aspects of this issue including the manner of selecting and awarding contracts and fixing accountability.
“The issues have been addressed on paper or actually?” the court asked when responding to the BMC counsel’s arguments that “by and large the issues” had been addressed.
“Can you make a statement that pursuant to the orders of the court, all issues have been addressed?” the bench asked.
Armin Wandrewala, one of the parties appearing in person, said that in reality the situation was as bad as ever. “Roads are so bad that they pose a potent danger,” she said. “It is very dangerous. There is no levelling.” She further sought that each ward level office be directed to survey the roads in its purview.
M Sathe, appearing for the corporation, conceded that the situation wasn’t “ideal” but said issues were being addressed as and when they were raised.
Wandrewala further stated that the online complaint system was not properly functioning. “See that your online system should work,” said the bench. She sought a specific direction from the court to the civic body, but the court said she could make her suggestions and they would pass an order at the next hearing after hearing the response of the BMC. “We can't direct all the time,” said the court. “It is their look-out, it is their obligation. They cannot say no.”
The court also made a suggestion that perhaps the civic body could mention on the road itself the ward officer and the contractor responsible for the road.
The matter has been posted for hearing after four weeks.