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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

As potholes rise by 150%, Mumbaiites’ health, budget at stake

“Roads in the city are in mess. I have made my peace with the fact that this won’t change. I only try to make sure I stay safe while manoeuvring my way through potholes,” said Hemant Chedda, a resident of Andheri.

mumbai Updated: Jul 16, 2019 05:46 IST
Mehul  R Thakkar
Mehul R Thakkar
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Even as the authorities promise quick redress of pothole-related complaints, Mumbaiites claim the ground reality remains the same, with the roads taking a toll on their health and budget every monsoon.
Even as the authorities promise quick redress of pothole-related complaints, Mumbaiites claim the ground reality remains the same, with the roads taking a toll on their health and budget every monsoon.(HT File Photo)
         

Even as the authorities promise quick redress of pothole-related complaints, Mumbaiites claim the ground reality remains the same, with the roads taking a toll on their health and budget every monsoon.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), public works department (PWD) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) handle different roads in the city, including the major arterial ones such as SV Road, Link Road, LBS Marg, western and eastern express highway and eastern freeway.

Motorist Nilesh Pehelwan, who rides on a bike daily between Mira Road and Santacruz, said, “Potholes add to my maintenance charges, in addition to the back pain. We have no choice, but to travel by road as trains, too, are crowded during peak hours.”

Others claim they have given up on the authorities.

“Roads in the city are in mess. I have made my peace with the fact that this won’t change. I only try to make sure I stay safe while manoeuvring my way through potholes,” said Hemant Chedda, a resident of Andheri.

Professor Neeraj Hatekar, who teaches economics at Mumbai University, said, “Long traffic jams due to potholes could be having an impact on the overall economy, but we cannot quantify it. But yes, due to long traffic jams, we use more fuel that we are importing from outside. This results in more expenditure on imports. Also, by spending more time in traffic jams, the productivity of individuals reduces. Across the world, economics is run on the basis of productivity, and if that goes down, it does impact economy in a certain way.”

“Stuck in traffic snarls owing to potholes, people tend to honk while driving, adding to the noise levels,” said Yeshwant Oke, a noise pollution activist.

Vishwam Choudhari, a PhD holder in environmental impact assessment and environmentalist from Pune, said, “It is very natural that if there is traffic jam due to potholes, more fuel will be consumed, and there will be more emissions, and this will impact the air quality.”