Pune’s perennial pothole problem
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) spends crores of rupees on road repair every year and even carries out the pre-monsoon work yet every time heavy rainfall lashes the city, potholes emerge in most of the parts of the city.pune Updated: Sep 22, 2017 15:46 IST
With incessant rains hitting the city for two consecutive days on Tuesday and Wednesday, potholes have emerged on various roads across the city.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) spends crores of rupees on road repair every year and even carries out the pre-monsoon work yet every time heavy rainfall lashes the city, potholes emerge in most of the parts of the city. While the administration has blamed road digging work as the reason the for potholes in the city, the activists believe that inferior quality of material used for roads and lack of coordination between various departments are some of the reasons for potholes emerging on roads frequently.
Last year, a report prepared by the ‘road committee’ comprising officials and activists had cited various reasons for the poor condition of roads during the monsoon season. “Among the reasons which our report has cited include lack of quality, no monitoring and absence of coordination between various government agencies,” said Prashant Inamdar, convener, Pedestrians FIRST, which has been highlighting issues related to roads and footpaths. Inamdar was part of the committee which submitted the report to PMC.
This year, the Pune civic body spent ₹22 crore on pre-monsoon work which included carrying out the surfacing of some roads. However, the rains washed away the work done, bringing back potholes.
The PMC administration has claimed that it has completed road repair work worth almost ₹22 crore before the monsoon to prevent potholes developing on city roads. On Thursday, the civic body’s road department was pressed into service to fill the potholes.
Rajendra Raut, head of PMC road department, said that as compared to previous years, the road condition in Pune is much better. The PMC had done a lot of work to improve the city roads. Compared to other cities, the road condition in Pune is much better, he added.
Raut accepted that potholes have emerged in various parts of city saying it is mainly due to road digging work carried out by various agencies. “Many agencies have currently undertaken road digging work in the city. Once the road is dug, proper bonding of road material becomes impossible during the repair work, leading to potholes,” Raut said.
The Pune Municipal Corporation has blamed various agencies including mobile companies, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), Maharashtra Natural Gas Limited and Maha Metro for carrying out road digging work in the city. Potholes mainly develop at the spots where roads are dug. Officials said that the civic body does not have the choice to deny permissions to these agencies as all these works are important for development of the city.
Cement-concrete roads is the answer
Considering pothole problems, the municipal corporation is promoting cement-concrete roads in the city. Most of the main roads in the city have already been converted into cement-concrete stretches which is helping the civic body maintain good quality of roads on the main corridors. The municipal officers said that when the PMC faced criticism over potholes a few years ago, they started promoting cement-concrete roads in the city.