This Article is From Jul 11, 2013

Crores spent, but no respite from potholes in Mumbai

Mumbai: While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC has spent crores on pothole repairs, citizens have no respite from them. An early monsoon has exposed the poor quality of repairs with huge potholes on major thoroughfares across the city of Mumbai and motorists and two-wheelers riders are particularly at risk.

Phoolchand Yadav, an autorickshaw driver had a narrow escape when the axle of his auto broke after it fell into a pothole in Goregaon. The stretch Yadav was driving on is filled with potholes and one has to search for the road. He told NDTV, "There is a threat to life. If it had broken on the highway it would cause a lot of trouble."

But not everyone is lucky. Earlier this month, a 28-year-old civil engineer Umesh Shinde lost his life after his two-wheeler skid on a pothole on the Western Express Highway.

The BMC has allotted nearly Rs 50 crores for pothole repairs this season. A sizeable portion of this has been spent already. But even the two arterial roads, the Eastern and Western Express Highways are not pothole-free, leading citizens to question, where has the money gone.

Babulrao Mishra, who drives on the road everyday, told NDTV, "Catch hold of the BMC personnel responsible for maintaining this road as soon as possible so that they do what do they get paid for."

The BMC has written to all its road engineers asking them to ensure the prevention of accidents due to potholes on roads maintained by it. The civic body claims it has switched to the new cold-mix technologies to repair potholes but with a huge number of potholes still remaining, citizens are left to risk travelling on the dangerous pothole ridden roads.

The response of the BMC was predictable. The Chairman of the Standing Committee of the BMC told NDTV, "In the forthcoming 2-3years, 1970kms which are the corporation roads would be constructed improved. All roads will be pothole free. Resurfacing will be done on the bridges all over the city."

As per latest figures available, nearly 8,000 potholes have been reported on the civic body's pothole tracking website. The BMC claims a majority of these have been attended to. But the state of Mumbai's roads speak otherwise. And Mumbaikars are forced to risk their lives by continuing to drive on the city's roads.