Over 10 years, Mumbai civic body spent Rs 331 crore on repairing potholes
In the past 10 years, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has spent about Rs 331 crore on repairing potholes across the city, according to the data obtained under the Right To Information (RTI) Act. While a major chunk – Rs 263.94 crore – was spent on repairing 7,775 potholes between 2009 and 2014, Rs 67 crore was spent on fixing 19,597 potholes from 2014 to 2019.
A BMC official said, “The expenditure has gone down due to our several cost optimisation measures. Also, many roads have been turned into cement layer roads, so the cost of repair has gone down. The backlog of bills from previous years also pushed up the expenditure between 2009 and 2014.”
The civic body in 2018 partnered with a German firm specialising in pothole-filling material to make a pothole fix similar to the ones that were imported earlier.
The civic body went ahead with the tie-up as getting patented material imported from Austria and Israel was proving to be costly. So the civic body applied a similar formula and manufactured the mix in their own plant at Worli. This, the BMC claims, is aimed at bringing down the cost. The Worli plant is currently being upgraded and the work to manufacture the material will begin once the upgrade is completed.
The BMC was earlier paying around Rs 130 a kg for two foreign pothole fixes, Midas Touch from Austria and Smart Fill from Israel. Making similar quality mixtures will cost the BMC around Rs 28 a kg.
Meanwhile, Vijay Singhal, additional municipal commissioner, BMC, handling roads and traffic department, along with Arun Nadgouder, chief engineer of the BMC’s roads department, were not available for comments.