How many must die before you fill Mumbai’s potholes, HC asks BMC
The bench ordered the Maharashtra government to set up a nodal agency to look into all complaints relating to potholes and road repair work from across the state.Updated: Aug 04, 2017, 10:14 IST
Slamming the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not repairing roads and filling up potholes that are a constant cause of accidents in the city, the Bombay high court asked the civic body on Thursday “how many more people did it want to eliminate” before it fixed the roads?
“We read that because of potholes across the city’s roads, more than 25 people have died this monsoon. How many will you eliminate before the next monsoon? The condition of the roads here is bad. We are not at all satisfied with your work,” said Chief Justice Manjula Chellur.
The observations came while the bench headed by the chief justice was hearing a suo moto PIL on the poor condition of roads across Mumbai, and the BMC’s failure to prevent and repair potholes every monsoon.
The bench also ordered the state to set up a nodal agency to look into all complaints relating to potholes and road repair work from across the state. The bench said the agency will forward the complaints to the municipal corporations and councils concerned across the state. The bench also appointed the member secretaries of Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority from each district as nodal officers for receiving such complaints.
The BMC, however, told the court that a similar committee to address all complaints made by the city’s residents regarding potholes and bad roads already existed. The corporation’s counsel Anil Sakhre said the BMC had also begun a toll free phone line for the public to call and inform about potholes.
Sakhre submitted a status report on the repair work carried out by the BMC so far. He said this year, the corporation had addressed more than 500 complaints regarding potholes.
The bench however, said it was “not concerned” merely with the number of complaints.
“Since the committee has been formed, how many people have died due to potholes and bad roads? It is a shame that we are at a stage where we have to supervise such committee,” Justice Chellur said. “From tomorrow onwards, I will personally note down how many potholes are there on the route that I travel on daily. If everyone starts doing it, then entire Mumbai will be covered and then the corporation will know of all roads that have potholes, she said.