BMC waters down 48-hour deadline to fill potholes
MUMBAI: The BMC was left redfaced on Friday after it diluted its 48-hour deadline to fix all potholes in the city.
Additional municipal commissioner (AMC) Vijay Singhal had on Thursday promised to fill all potholes in the next 48 hours. In a climbdown of sorts, Vinod Chithore, chief engineer (roads), clarified that 48-hour deadline is practical only if it does not rain.
Activists have criticised the BMC for setting an unrealistic deadline.
James John, activist with AGNI (Action for Good Governance and Networking in India), said, “If the BMC hurries in filling the pothole, it will only lead to shoddy work, resulting in more and more potholes.”
Executive engineers and all concerned contractors were called in for a meeting on Friday and directed to pull up their socks to fix potholes.
The BMC has received 1,032 pothole-related complaints this monsoon, of them, 674 have been attended to.
Chithore said, “We have asked contractors and engineers that they have to fill in all the potholes in the next 48 hours. Our staff has already confirmed that the work has begun. We are determined to fill all potholes as directed by the AMC. The complaints we have recorded have come from the toll free numbers, website and mobile app. It does not include the figures from Whatsapp, though we are attending to them too.”
The civic body has appointed one contractor for each of the seven zones for pothole repairs.
One of the executive engineers, who attended the meeting, said, “We have been directed to supervise contractors and ensure that they use optimum machinery and manpower.”
The BMC has instructed contractors to fill potholes on all major roads and those potholes that fall within the defect liability period.
For potholes on smaller roads (less than 9 metre), BMC staff will undertake repairs with the help of ‘Coldmix’(a mixture used to fill potholes). The mixture, prepared at the BMC’S Worli plant, will also be used only for emergency repairs. However, the plant has been shut since monsoon as the radiator was damaged. It is expected to restart soon, added Chithore.
Trenching is another major issue for bad condition of roads.
During the general body meeting on Thursday, Singhal said that with easy approval almost 400-500 km of roads has been dug up in the past eight months.