The civic body’s plan to fill 7,000 potholes on city’s roads before the onset of monsoon may prove to be a non-starter.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is expected to begin on this project by April and complete filling potholes by May 15. However, the civic body is still unclear on who would be entrusted with the responsibility of repairing these potholed roads — the civic body’s central agency or ward-level administration.
The BMC had come under scathing attack from the Standing Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) for giving this responsibility to the wards last year. Even this year, the civic body plans to entrust the wards with the job of filling up potholed roads. This year, however, there will be a lot of confusion on this though as ward officials and the road department are still unclear about their jurisdiction and pothole filling responsibility.
The civic body has appointed ward-wise contractors in all 24 wards to fill potholes and has earmarked Rs40 crore for this work. Of this amount, the civic administration will spend Rs28 crore before the monsoon to repair road.
There are two types of roads (minor and major) in the city; minor means a road less than 30-ft in width while major means roads that are more than 30-ft wide.
“We will only take care of minor roads while major roads will be the responsibility of the road department,” said an assistant municipal commissioner, in-charge of a ward from Island city. Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said, “All roads will be handled by the wards like last year.”
The STAC members had said that this exercise should to the central agency as it was being done three years ago to bring uniformity and maintain a better technical control over the work. STAC members, however, denied that the civic body had asked them to look into this matter. “The civic body has not referred us any case. We will visit if they would ask for any suggestion,” said NV Merani, chairman, STAC.
A pre-monsoon survey conducted by the BMC had estimated that there are about 7,000 potholes and 2,195 spots where potholes are located on the city’s roads — 459 in the island city, 382 in the eastern suburbs and 1,354 in western suburbs. Of 24 wards in the city, Dahisar leads the tally with 344 pothole locations, followed by Malad (291) and Bandra-West (180).
On the other hand, A ward means south Mumbai from Nariman Point to Metro cinema, has only 11 locations, the lowest in the city; Kurla (L ward) has 12 such locations, the report said.
The city has over 1,900-km road network, of which about 500 km is concretised.