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Civic body gives priority to Metro, storm water drains, puts off repairs on 49 roads in Mumbai

Cancelled contracts are worth Rs808 crore; delay in roadwork means bad roads in the city

mumbai Updated: Dec 23, 2017 12:52 IST
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation,Road repairs
Of the 49 road works which were to be taken up in 2016-2017, 37 are in the eastern suburbs.(Pic for representation)

Your ride is bumpy for a reason and it’s not negligence, but that Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation may have refused to approve the repair work on that road to give preference to other projects. Since January 2016, the civic body has cancelled or shelved road repair or reconstruction work worth more than Rs800 crore on 49 roads.

An internal civic report prepared last week said contracts for these ongoing road projects were either “deleted” or rejected for time being owing to other priority works in the last two years. These more important works include laying utility lines, working on storm water drains, removing encroachment, constructing flyover and Metro corridors and other upcoming priority road projects.

The cancelled contracts, which are worth Rs808 crore, include a major road development in Goregaon East that required an expenditure of Rs491 crore, which has been stalled due to ongoing work on Metro 7 corridor (Dahisar East-Andheri East).

Of the 49 road works which were to be taken up in 2016-2017, 37 are in the eastern suburbs. Most of these are in Bhandup, Powai and Vikhroli. Eleven roads were to be repaired in the island city and only one in the western suburbs needed mending, said the report.

Chief engineer (roads and traffic) Vinod Chithore told Hindustan Times, “Some road works needed to be deferred for time being for other priority works. These projects shall be taken up again later.”

Citizen activists point out that the cancellation of road works has further deteriorated the condition of those roads. Michael Cardoza, an activist in Powai, said, “Work on some roads in Powai has been on for a long time and still roads are in a terrible condition. Some roads that need repairs are neglected and the result is traffic congestion, longer commute time and wastage of fuel.”

The BMC had listed 1,200 roads to be repaired this year, of which 305 were to be completed before monsoon. Also, it has decided to begin road repairs from October 1 after receiving a series of pothole and bad road complaints.

In view of the policy on paver blocks ban, the standing committee of the civic body on Thursday refused to pass proposals to fix internal roads using such blocks. “Even though the policy allows paver blocks to be used on roads smaller than 6m, we rejected one proposal and passed one asking workers to fix them with concrete pavement. Paver blocks do not ensure quality repairs,” said Yashwant Jadhav, leader of the House.

First Published: Dec 23, 2017 12:51 IST