Grave problem, hurried solutions
No supervision and the absence of transparency in awarding work to contractors could be the key reasons for the poor quality roads in the city.
According to experts, the civic body is too soft on contractors — which could be due to political pressure — because of which the construction of roads is not monitored.
“A major flaw in road construction is that the work is not supervised. Nobody monitors how the contractors build the roads,” said Nandkumar Salvi, former chief engineer in the civic body and a member of the high court-appointed road monitoring committee.
With regard to the awarding of contracts, in the past three years, many of the contracts for road construction and maintenance have expired, but instead of inviting fresh ones, existing contractors were asked to continue. As a result, the terms of the contract remained the same, and new conditions, for the building of quality roads, were not laid.
“No tender was invited in the past three years,” said additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta.
However, the chairman of the civic standing committee, Rahul Shewale said: “Though the tenders were not floated, road construction work was done through a variation of proposals.”
Variation is the extension of the existing contract, in terms of cost or area.
Shewale himself conceded that the civic body should change the procedure in place for awarding contracts and overseeing construction work. He said that the civic administration should forfeit deposits of contractors, who made the roads and guaranteed their quality in a specific period.
“Strict action should be taken against those who are not following the specifications to maintain the roads,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Congress on Friday demanded that the civic administration should fill potholes immediately and also take action against the contractors responsible for building poor quality roads.
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