Unused repair machines to be put to work at end of rains | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Unused repair machines to be put to work at end of rains

After four years of not using the Rs70 crore pothole-filling machines, the civic body now plans to use the machines when monsoon is nearing an end.

mumbai Updated: Aug 25, 2012 00:52 IST
Kunal Purohit

After four years of not using the Rs70 crore pothole-filling machines, the civic body now plans to use the machines when monsoon is nearing an end.

This time, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wants to pay a private contractor Rs3 crore for filling potholes in the city. The civic body has floated tenders for appointing a contractor, and the tendering process is slated to finish by September-end.

However, what has many confused is the fact that the BMC wants to appoint a pothole-filling contractor after the rains have left the city.

This isn’t the first-time that the machines have courted controversy. These machines were bought in 2008 to fill potholes effectively and in a shorter span of time. The BMC gave variations to the contractor operating the machines, taking the total cost of the project from around Rs5 crore to Rs68 crore.

At the time of purchasing the machines, civic officials promised that potholes would be repaired within a few hours. However, after encountering various problems while operating them, the civic body kept the machines aside, which are lying idle since 2009.

According to officials, using the machine, a truck-like vehicle, was cumbersome as it has to be taken to the spot. Also, the raw materials and its high maintenance cost made it financially unviable.

However, after facing flak for the bad state of the roads, the civic body now wants to appoint a contractor to operate all the three machines till March 2013.

A senior civic official from the roads department said, “We encountered some problems while using it the last time. But we are wiser from our experience and will overcome those problems this time.”

When questioned about the decision to fill potholes at the end of monsoon, the official said, “We can use it to fill the remaining potholes on the roads. Even after the monsoons, we will make use of it whenever possible.”

Despite repeated efforts, additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta was not available for comment.