Makeover turns DP Road 9 in Powai into a ‘life hazard’ | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Makeover turns DP Road 9 in Powai into a ‘life hazard’

Jun 25, 2024 08:51 AM IST

The road had been concretised for only half its width and the height difference between the asphalt-topped side and the concretised side is nearly six inches

Mumbai: When DP Road 9, the only direct link between Chandivali and the Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR), opened to traffic after a makeover on June 16, residents in the area heaved a sigh of relief. But the relief was short lived, as they soon realised that the road had been concretised for only half its width and the height difference between the asphalt-topped side and the concretised side was nearly six inches in some places, leading to frequent mishaps.

Mumbai, India. June 24, 2024: Residents of Chandivali claimed that the BMC did not properly construct the newly built Powai DP road. June 24, 2024. (Photo by Raju Shinde/HT Photo)
Mumbai, India. June 24, 2024: Residents of Chandivali claimed that the BMC did not properly construct the newly built Powai DP road. June 24, 2024. (Photo by Raju Shinde/HT Photo)

“The new road is worse than what it used to be,” said Mandeep Singh Makkar, founder of the Chandivali Citizens Welfare Association (CCWA). “Half of the width of the road has been concretised, but the other half of it is just as it was. Both have been joined via patchwork, making the surface highly uneven. It is now not only a bad road but a life hazard.”

The length of the road is around 500 meters, while its width spans 12 meters. It is lined with slums, illegally parked vehicles and garbage dumps on either side, bringing down the effective width to nearly half, and forcing motorists to negotiate the height difference between the concrete- and asphalt-topped sides, at times with ruinous consequences which left a gaping hole in motorists’ pockets.

For instance, on Saturday, the lid of a manhole on the higher, concretised side of the road hit the base of a sedan being driven by Bharat Chanda, a 65-year-old resident of Chandivali, triggering the airbags in the car and damaging the windshield. Chanda, who had to shell out 2 lakh to repair the damages, said, “My car is over 12 years old and doesn’t have insurance. So, I had to pay the whole amount from my pocket.”

Blaming the damage entirely on the shoddy makeover of the road, he said, “The road is much worse than it used to be. When I was travelling by an auto on the road one day, I saw another car being hit by the same manhole cover, though there wasn’t much damage.”

“The contract for concretising the road was given in February 2023. Though the contractor had 15 months to complete the job, he did nothing for 14 months. Then in May, the last month, he rushed through the job, and the consequences are there for all of us to see,” said Makkar. He said the concretising work, if done properly, could have been completed in six months.

“Heavy vehicles are not allowed on the road. But still, they can be seen plying here everyday. There is no footpath along the road either, adding to the danger it poses for pedestrians,” said Makkar.

An official from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s roads department, who is in charge of the eastern suburbs, said at least 50% of the road concretisation was complete. “If you compare the state of the road right now to what it was, it is much better. It was in a nightmarishly dangerous condition the last monsoon,” said the officer.

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