BMC’s road re­pairs are ad-hoc, says high court

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Correspondent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The Bom­bay high court on Fri­day said the Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (BMC) seemed to be re­pair­ing roads “only on an ad-hoc (un­planned) ba­sis” as pot­holes keep reap­pear­ing af­ter every spell of rain. The court di­rected the cor­po­ra­tion to check if its staff was us­ing sub­stan­dard ma­te­ri­als to re­pair roads. Jus­tice Shan­tanu Kemkar and Jus­tice MS Karnik also di­rected the BMC to ex­plore more ef­fi­cient ways of re­pair­ing roads even if they turned out to be more ex­pen­sive. They or­dered the civic body to file an af­fi­davit on these is­sues within two weeks.

The court was hear­ing a pub­lic in­ter­est lit­i­ga­tion con­cern­ing the poor con­di­tion of roads in the city, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the mon­soon.

On Fri­day, the pe­ti­tion­ers and the in­ter­ven­ers in the case sub­mit­ted pho­to­graphs of con­nect­ing roads and stretches on both the eastern and west­ern ex­press high­ways that are rid­dled with pot­holes. “What we gather from news re­ports and pho­tos is that the BMC is only do­ing ad-hoc work. Why do the re­pairs car­ried out by you not last for more than a day or two? Is re­pair ma­te­rial be­ing mis­used or is it sub­stan­dard?” the judges asked.

The Cen­tral Roads Re­search In­sti­tute (CRRI) told the court that the cor­po­ra­tion would get bet­ter re­sults if it used any one of the nine stan­dard meth­ods – and ma­te­ri­als – of road re­pairs that CRRI rec­om­mends.

The BMC’s lawyer told the court that the civic body had al­ready tested two of the nine meth­ods and that one of them turned out to be un­fea­si­ble while the other proved too ex­pen­sive. Mayor Sne­hal Am­bekar sur­veys the West­ern Ex­press High­way at Kher­wadi junc­tion, Ban­dra, on Fri­day.

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