In 9 days, pothole officer receives 70 complaints
HC Appointee Asks Agencies For Report
Mumbai: The nodal officer appointed by the Bombay high court to look into pothole-related grievances has received 70 complaints in nine days. Taking serious cognizance of these complaints, the nodal officer has instructed the BMC and other agencies concerned to submit a compliance report on a weekly basis.
Following a Bombay high court directive, the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority (MSLSA) has appointed Shrikant Kulkarni as the nodal officer in Mumbai to register pothole-related complaints. Of the 70 complaints received beteen September 8 and September 16, some were sent by hand delivery and others through post and e-mails. Kulkarni has called ajoint meeting with all agencies that maintain roads in the city, including MMRDA, Mhada, MbPT, CR, WR, MSRDC, MIDC, PWD and the Dairy Development department, on Thursday.
The nodal officer started receiving complaints immediately after a public notice was issued on September 8. “Apart from complaints being recorded at our office, they will be sent to BMC which covers maximum
road network in the city. In case BMC finds that the complaint pertains to a road maintained by another agency, it will be forwarded to that respective authority. All agencies will finally have to submit their reports to the nodal officer,” Kulkarni said.
“Also, once the complaint is addressed, officials have to upload a picture on the website to show that the work has been completed so that the complainant can check if the pothole has been repaired,” he added.
Vinod Chitore, director of engineering services department, who also has the charge of chief engineer of roads, has said that as of now, BMC has received 50 complaints and 40% of them have already been attended to. “We have our own system of receiving complaints and addressing them, which will continue. However, BMC will also attend to complaints sent by the nodal officer,” he said.
An MMRDA official, however, said they had no idea about a meeting on Thursday.
Justice Gautam Patel had written to the chief justice on July 24, 2013, highlighting the issue of pathetic condition of roads which not only inconvenienced citizens but also led to casualties, especially in case of bikers. He had annexed a compilation of news reports. The court converted his letter into a suo motu PIL.
On August 3, taking note of the issue, the court appointed a nodal officer for Mumbai and other districts.