The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has spent Rs 56 crore on filling 14,242 potholes on Mumbai’s roads in the last six months.
This sum is more than 93 per cent of the sum that was supposed to last the corporation for the whole year.
The BMC gave the standing committee details of money spent on filling potholes on Wednesday. AV Ralkar, chief engineer of the BMC’s road department, said the corporation will not need more money for potholes and maintenance of roads this year. “The existing budgetary provision [of Rs 60 crore] will suffice,” he said.
The details presented on Wednesday also indicated that the BMC had underestimated the number of potholes. In August, the BMC had pegged the number of potholes at 9,000. On Wednesday, the BMC said the number was more than 14,000.
Hindustan Times had reported earlier this month that the BMC had exhausted its initial budget of Rs 40 crore and had made an additional allocation of Rs 20 crore for fixing potholes.
The BMC said it had filled potholes in a total area of 4.61 lakh sq m. According to the civic body, filling potholes in an area of 1 sq m costs Rs 700. Filling potholes in 4.61 lakh sqm should have cost the BMC Rs 32.30 crore.
“The BMC should explain the extra Rs 24 crore that have been spent,” Congress corporator Sameer Desai said. “Rs 700 for filing potholes in 1 sq m is also very high. They should maintain the roads properly to avoid such bloated expenditure.”
The BMC’s allocation of funds for filling potholes in different wards fell short of what was needed in some wards. It had allocated Rs 2.80 crore for potholes in Malad but spent more than Rs 4.05 crore. Malad turned out to be the area with the maximum number of potholes in the city, more than what the corporation had budgeted for.
The second highest amount spent, Rs 3.94 crore, was to fill 246 potholes in ‘D’ ward, which covers the plush areas of Malabar Hill, Napean Sea Road and Nana Chowk. The civic body had budgeted Rs 2.55 crore for this ward. In Kurla [L ward], on the other hand, the BMC spent only Rs 44.80 lakh of the Rs 4.35 crore budgeted for the ward.