After facing widespread criticism for advising citizens not to fill craters on roads on their own, the Mumbai civic body on Tuesday "acknowledged" the "good intent" and sought to rope in people for doing the job.
Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi on Tuesday urged the citizens to partner with engineers of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
"Acknowledging the good intent of civilians trying to fill #potholes, Municipal Commissioner Mr Praveen Pardeshi has urged them to work as partners with MCGM engineers, so that correct engineering methods can be followed too. Ward officials shall be in touch with citizen groups," BMC tweeted.
The civic chief's appeal has evoked a mixed response.
"We welcome this Good Initiative & Happy to be associated with #MCGM Always & Take this campaign wide angle in all ways. Citizens involvement will not only help resolve & maintain Good Roads, but help all wards with lesser complaints too (sic)," said a tweet posted on the handle PotholeWarriors.
A citizen, Nirmala Pinto, disagreed.
"That's not ok. The bmc needs to do its job. Citizens are stepping in only to ensure safety as the roads are in such a mess. Please don't pass on your work to citizens. Lay and repair the roads right and citizens won't need to put in temporary solutions then (sic)," she tweeted.
While raising concerns over the quality of work, the BMC on August 24 asked citizens not to fill potholes, expressing apprehensions about road accidents.
The appeal was construed as "threat" by many people.
"Similarly it's illegal for an authorised BMC contractor to fill roads with shoddy material & paver blocks. The rule should be implemented on both! Citizens don''t like to fill roads and do a job which BMC is not interested in!" tweeted one Mayur Bhat.
Activist Cassandra Nazareth had said, "In the first place if you take the trouble to ensure that your contractors make proper lasting roads, we would not be having this conversation EVERY YEAR and losing lives".
A senior civic official said on Tuesday that Mr Pardeshi had asked Road Department officials to fill the craters within prescribed time limit or face action.
"The civic chief has given clear cut orders to engineers of the road department to attend the job of filling potholes coming at its twitter handle. Concerned officials have taken it seriously and a massive drive has been launched in all wards to attend the complaints of potholes," he said.