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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Potholes resurface in Kalyan and Dombivli, so do the same excuses

Commuters said the road repair works carried out by Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) are not up to the mark.

mumbai Updated: Sep 07, 2019 01:31 IST
Only craters are visible on Tilak Road in Dombivli (East), making it a danger zone.
Only craters are visible on Tilak Road in Dombivli (East), making it a danger zone.
         

With rainy days back, the potholes on the roads in Kalyan-Dombivli have also reappeared, making travelling a nightmare for commuters.

Commuters said the road repair works carried out by Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) are not up to the mark.

“When it was raining earlier, the roads had several potholes. When it stopped raining last month the potholes were filled with thick dust. Now, when it has started raining all over again, the potholes are deeper and deadly,” said Umakant Jain, 34, a motorist who takes the Haji Malang road to connect to Taloja MIDC for work.

With Ganeshotsav underway, residents said roads leading to immersion spots are also riddled with potholes.

“The Sahajanand Road which leads to the Ganesh ghat in Kalyan, which is a popular immersion spot for Kalyan residents, is the worst stretch. On the first day of immersion, it took almost two hours to reach the spot from my house, which is just minutes away,” said Madhavi Sathe, 37, a resident of Sahajanand Chowk, Kalyan (West).

Shreeram Chowk, Chakki Naka and Suchak Naka in Pune Link Road and F Cabin Road in Kalyan (East), Tata Power Lane Dombivli, Khambalpada in Dombivli and Cholegaon Road in Thakuli are riddled with potholes.

When monsoon hit the city, the KDMC had assured residents of safer roads.

Last monsoon, five people died in pothole-related accidents in the city. Residents and citizens’ groups took to the streets to protest . The civic body was forced to take measures to fill potholes.

Sapna Koli, city engineer, KDMC, said, “Some internal roads have developed potholes and we have started fixing them. This is temporary. However, we will work on fixing it permanently once the monsoon is over. This year, we began road repair works in advance and have managed to finish work on most of the major roads in the city.”

The KDMC uses two methods to maintain the roads in its jurisdiction. The civic body uses dense bituminous macadam and asphalt concrete before monsoon and water bound macadam during monsoon.

The KDMC uses the cold and hot mix to fill potholes in very few places.

“Cold and hot mixes are preferably used for isolated potholes that are hardly 1 or 2 square metre. In Kalyan-Dombivli, small potholes are very few. Most roads have huge potholes and hence we choose dense bituminous macadam or water bound macadam,” said Koli.

The civic body has not used cold mix even once in 27 villages , that have several roads filled with potholes.

“We have used cold mix at Khadakpada and Adharwadi in Kalyan (West) and some other places. This monsoon has led to many roads incurring severe damage as the downpour was heavy. We have started working as per plan, which is taking up the work at ward level. All the ward officers have been asked to repair the roads in their wards,” added Koli.

The civic body will spend ₹17 crore for road repairs and pothole-filling works throughout the year. The civic body, which had earlier aimed to at repairing all the roads before Ganeshotsav, now aims to do so by Sunday.

“The work is being carried out in full swing at each ward. We have been given time til Sunday to finish the work,” said a ward- level officer of KDMC, who did not wish to be named.

The Khambalpada road in Dombivli MIDC, which is a vital link between Kalyan and Dombivli, has several potholes.

The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) maintains the road.

Two years ago, the entire stretch was repaired and asphalted. However, it developed potholes within months.

This year, the KDMC has formed a group among the officers and initiated geo-tagging of the repair works to keep a tab on the work carried out in each ward.

Last year, according to the primary survey done by the civic body in July last year, 529 deadly potholes were found in Kalyan-Dombivli.

From July 14 to August 28, after five pothole-related deaths, the civic body filled 8,653 small and big potholes found on 165.595 km of asphalted roads in Kalyan-Dombivli.

Apart from the asphalting of the roads, the civic body had also undertaken the repair of bridges across KDMC area.

In March, it did the mastic asphalting of the Waldhuni bridge in Kalyan, which connects to Ulhasnagar. Last year, the civic body spent ₹13 crore for the repair works.

Sreeniwas Ghanekar, social activist, founder of Alert Citizens Group, Kalyan, said, “After filling the potholes, the road rollers weighing around 5-6 tonnes are used to press the filling.”

“However, vehicles that ply on the roads are heavier, weighing around 10 tonnes. So if the pressing is not done properly, air bubbles are formed and water enters the potholes easily and the repaired patch is damaged,” said Ghanekar.

He cited another reason for shoddy work.

“The contractors who take up the works are the ones who have been doing it for years. These contractors carry out substandard works and hence the roads do not sustain for a long time,” added the activist.