The Shiv Sena, which is the ruling party of the Mumbai civic body, refused to take on the onus of potholed roads in the city.
Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray called for ‘dissolving’ the Mumbai Metropolitan Road Development Authority (MMRDA) headed by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, which is responsible for some bridges, flyovers and roads under the metro and monorail projects.
On Wednesday, HT had reported how there were more than 6,000 potholes across 1,100 locations in the city. The civic body takes care of almost 1,900-kilometres of roads in the city.
“We agree that there are potholes, but why should only we be responsible for it? What happens to roads where there are skywalks and flyovers, made by the MMRDA? If it is not ready to take responsibility for it, then it should be dissolved,” Thackeray said.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has spent Rs 26 crore in the past three months and has made a provision for another Rs14-crore for filling potholes. The civic body had also brought in expensive technology – like cold cement mix (carboncor) – which could fill in potholes in a few minutes, for which it spent a few crores.
“We are trying our best to work on potholes. We have completed concretisation of about 520km. The rest will take off in October,” he said.
He said they would work on a new mechanism of choosing contractors, where those with bad history sheets will not be entertained by the BMC anymore.
Thackeray praised former Sainik and public works department minister of the Nationalist Congress Party, Chhagan Bhujbal, who raised the issue of the MMRDA’s failure in completing projects like the Bandra-Worli Sea link in time.
“We have been saying this for years. Fortunately, one of the political leaders has pointed it out and we would like to congratulate Bhujbal for it,” he said.