Don’t bet on Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) fixing the city’s rugged roads before the first raindrop hits the ground. In fact, the wait may last a whole year, as in a decision that appears curious to say the least, the civic body will put in order a list of streets in need of repair over the next few days, and then carry out the mending before the 2014 monsoon. The situation has partly been affected by the delays of the corporation’s own employees.
Sources say the higher-ups in BMC had asked engineers in different wards to prepare records of bad roads in their respective areas and submit them before May 15. However, 10 days after the deadline hardly 50 per cent of the wards have complied.
In the standing committee meeting held in the last week of April, additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta had announced the appointment of road engineers who were to maintain and were to be held responsible for condition of roads. He had then said, “These road engineers are to make a list of bad roads in their wards on priority basis and submit it by May 15. The roads are to be repaired before monsoon.”
When contacted by MiD DAY, deputy chief engineer G Agarwal, he confirmed that the actual work on the list would be done before the next monsoon. “We are yet to receive the records from all the wards. This should happen in the next few days. Work on these roads will begin only after this monsoon that is tenders will be floated later than October 1. It would have been impossible to complete the process for this rainy season even if the list was ready by May 15.”
Minor roads, major woes
The list being prepared is for ‘minor roads’, which are less than 30 feet wide and are controlled by 24 wards in the city. Recently four engineers were appointed in each ward to check the roads during monsoon. About Rs 1,500 crore was set aside in this civic budget for the repair of roads, and about Rs 253 crore was spent in the last five years on patching up potholes ahead of monsoons.
May 15 Was the deadline for road engineers to submit their lists for streets that need fixing
May 15 The deadline given to road engineers to submit their lists for streets that need fixing. Only 50% of the wards complied.