A month left for monsoon, but miles to go before under-repair roads are ready
With resurfacing work on more than 400 roads yet to be completed after the BMC started work on them in March last year, citizens and corporators have raised doubts over the civic body’s ability to finish the Herculean task and get the roads ready in time for the monsoon. The civic body doesn’t have a very good track record when it comes to finishing tasks on time, they have pointed out.
Out of the 1,228 road resurfacing projects taken up since March last year across the city, a total of 455 roads, both major and minor, are yet to be completed, nearly a month before the monsoon.
In addition to road strengthening, the BMC has also undertaken overhauling of storm water drains at Hindmata in Parel, Saat Rasta in Mahalaxmi and in Chembur near SCLR, spots in the city that face flooding every monsoon, along with the road trenching work.
As a result, the roads in the city are either in the process of being concretised, being given a layer of asphalt, or being dug up for laying utility pipes or cables. The pervasive road work has been causing traffic snarls across the city and suburbs.
The new civic chief Ajoy Mehta has also listed priorities for all the departments, asking them to finish all the pre-monsoon work in time and provide quality roads.
According to the data available with the civic body, work on 200 roads in the western suburbs, 135 roads in the island city and 120 roads in the in eastern suburbs is still in progress. If this work is not completed before the onset of the monsoon, they could cause major commuting hassles for citizens in the monsoon.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has completed strengthening of 691 roads with cement-concrete and asphalt.
The civic body, however, is confident that it will complete work in the time it has set itself. SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner, said, “This is a massive work that we have undertaken as part of our three-year road master plan and it will provide relief to commuters this monsoon too. We will finish work on another 100 roads across the city by May-end.”
The amount of road work to be completed and its quality has raised doubts among Opposition corporators and citizens alike. Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi Party leader, said, “BMC has bitten off more than what it can chew. These tenders were simply floated under pressure from the ruling alliance. The least the BMC can now do is assure the road work is completed by the contractor and ensure that shoddy work is not approved.”