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BMC must replace lists with 'concrete' work

The forecasts are in, and it’s official: the monsoons are on their way. Look at the changing skies and you will agree with the weatherman’s predictions. Look at the bumpy roads and you will know that the BMC is doing absolutely nothing to make them rain-ready, even as the monsoon clouds hurtle in our direction.

Our front-page story yesterday exposed the undue emphasis that the civic body puts on paperwork, which takes precedence over the actual, concrete work that any surveillance should lead to. Things seem to begin and end with documentation.

Last year’s budgetary provision of Rs 1,000 crore seems to have had little or no effect on the roads. It’s no different this year: the provision of Rs 2,000 crore for road and bridge repair looks likely to be a massive waste yet again, as the civic body has decided that it will draw up a list of bad roads this year, and repair them before the 2014 monsoons.

The BMC had planned last year to make stringent checks on the quality of roads while they were being built. In his budget speech earlier this year, the municipal commissioner had announced that the agency’s aim was to ‘empower these engineers to expeditiously respond to requirements of roads maintenance work.’

But these grand promises have yielded little result. Few of the lists of scarred roads that these ‘empowered’ engineers were asked to provide came in on time, giving the civic body a convenient excuse to defer the repair work.

This is nothing but procrastination on a grand scale, trying to pass itself off as red-tapism.   

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