Mind your own busi­ness, red-faced BMC tells cops

An­top Hill po­lice claim they re­paired pot­hole be­cause BMC was ‘busy’; civic au­thor­i­ties al­lege the cops were merely try­ing to hu­mil­i­ate them with a ‘pub­lic­ity stunt’ on a per­fectly fine road

Mid Day - - CITY - Num­ber of min­utes the cops took for the job

DUR­ING a re­view meet­ing last week, BMC boss Ajoy Me­hta in­structed ad­di­tional mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Vi­jay Sing­hal to write a strongly-worded let­ter to the Ad­di­tional Com­mis­sioner of Mum­bai Po­lice (Cen­tral re­gion, in this case) to con­vey that hence­forth the stretch of road should be looked af­ter by the cops, as the Cor­po­ra­tion will no longer look af­ter its main­te­nance.

Fur­ther, Me­hta also in­structed the ward of­fi­cials (mid-day ac­cessed a copy of the min­utes of the meet­ing) that they were not to touch that par­tic­u­lar spot and let the cops main­tain it them­selves.

‘Don’t ma­lign BMC’

News re­ports had lauded the An­top Hill po­lice for fill­ing pot­holes near GTB Nagar’s Koli­wada bridge at the end of Au­gust, and the same re­ports lam­basted the mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­i­ties for the state of the city’s roads. The re­ports not only em­bar­rassed the BMC of­fi­cials, but also caught their at­ten­tion, as ac­cord­ing to the F-north ward of­fi­cials, there were no pot­holes on that road.

A civic of­fi­cial who was present at the meet­ing told mid-day, “There was no pot­hole on that road, just an un­du­la­tion (bad patch) owing to the rea­son that it was the turn­ing point for BEST buses. Me­hta said we need to tell the po­lice, ‘Mind your own busi­ness, don’t ma­lign our im­age’. He was up­set about the be­hav­iour of the po­lice depart­ment, which was just at­tempt­ing a pub­lic­ity stunt.”

The cops say

How­ever, Con­sta­ble Ramesh Bhos­ale, who was among the five cops who re­paired the road, told mid-day: “There was a pot­hole at that spot, which led to two ac­ci­dents. One man got se­verely in­jured, and that is when we thought of fill­ing the pot­hole in­stead of wait­ing for the BMC, as they are al­ready swamped with work.”

He de­nied that it was a pub­lic­ity stunt, and that most pub­li­ca­tions has car­ried mis­lead­ing pic­tures with the re­ports on the in­ci­dent.

“We never even clicked any pic­tures while do­ing the work, leave alone do­ing it for pub­lic­ity. There was no in­ten­tion of ma­lign­ing the civic body’s im­age, and we were only try­ing to ex­tend a help­ing hand to the ci­ti­zens. We filled it the crater with con­struc­tion de­bris, and the next day, BMC work­ers came and resur­faced the road with tar.”

The pot­hole was filled within 15 min­utes and did not cause any traf­fic con­ges­tion. How­ever, civic of­fi­cials said the cops did not use the right ma­te­rial or tech­nique for the job.

De­spite re­peated at­tempts, AMC Sing­hal, was not avail­able for com­ment.

Re­gard­less of who is at fault in the sit­u­a­tion, though, one thing is cer­tain — it is the ci­ti­zens who will bear the brunt of this blame-game and the en­su­ing road prob­lems.

PIC/ATUL KAMBLE

An­top Hill cops said they had wit­nessed bad ac­ci­dents caused by a pot­hole near GTB Nagar’s Koli­wada bridge, so they de­cided to do some­thing about it.

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