BMC 'relocates' its own roads in Mumbai, blames it on contractors

Civic officials seem to have made some geographical adjustments of their own while putting up road signs in the city. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has named five roads incorrectly in the city, with the errors being as silly as writing the location of a road, which is close to the Vile Parle railway station, as Juhu and an area in Andheri (East) as Vile Parle.

The old correct signboard showing Azad Road in Andheri, while the new sign has moved it to Gundavali, which is a couple of kilometres from the spot. Pics/Nimesh Dave
The old correct signboard showing Azad Road in Andheri, while the new sign has moved it to Gundavali, which is a couple of kilometres from the spot. Pics/Nimesh Dave

When the BMC undertakes road construction, improvement or maintenance work, the existing signboards are sometimes taken down. It is the contractor’s responsibility to put new ones in their place and the civic body, thereafter, has to ensure that the new signs are correct. These new boards, consisting of the name of the road and the suburb it is located in, are blue and yellow in colour and bear the official seal of the civic body.

Church Road, which is near Vile Parle (West) railway station, now finds itself in Juhu
Church Road, which is near Vile Parle (West) railway station, now finds itself in Juhu

Where’s it, again?
At five places in the city, four of which are in the Western suburbs, the civic body has put up erroneous signboards that are the source of collective amusement and laughter of the local residents there. When mid-day visited the spots, we found some even clicking pictures and sharing them with their friends.

At Church Road, for example, which is very close to the suburban Vile Parle (West) railway station, the BMC has put up a signboard stating the road is in Juhu. At five locations in the city, the BMC has either incorrectly named the area or the road. These include Church Road in Vile Parle (West), which is very close to the suburban railway station, and yet bears the name ‘Church Road, Juhu.’

The other example is that of Cardinal Gracious Road in Andheri (East), which, as per the BMC, is a part of Vile Parle (East). “I don’t understand how the BMC can make such a mistake. Even a kid will know better. The area has always been a part of Chakala (Andheri East). How can they say it is in Vile Parle?” asked Tushar Shetty, who has been running his hotel on Cardinal Gracias Road for many years.

Continuing in Andheri (East), Azad Road has two signboards next to each other – one stating its original location in Andheri, while the other puts it in Gundavli, which is a couple of kilometres away. “It is funny. A lot of people have clicked pictures here. But if any person new to the area is confused, we are here to help,” said Vijay Pandey, a stall owner on Azad Road.

Nicholas Almeida, an activist of Watchdog Foundation, an NGO, said, “These are blunders on the part of the BMC. I couldn’t help but wonder how careless these people are about such important things!” Almeida then pointed out two more such errors: one in JVPD scheme in Vile Parle (West), whose location has been shown as Andheri (West), and the other in Dhobi Talao in south Mumbai, where the Dr Simon C Fernandes Road has been spelt as ‘Simancy Farnandes Street’.

Official speak
When asked about their gaffe, BMC officials pinned the blame on contractors. T N Kumar, deputy chief engineer (Roads Western suburbs), said, “It could have been a typographical mistake. Contractors are given a printed sheet with names of roads. They must have goofed up. I will have to look into the matter.”

Ashok Pawar, chief engineer, Roads department, told this paper, “When work orders are issued to contractors, they are given in bulk and road works may be in multiple wards at the same time. This leads to confusion. In this case, when our employees went there, they must have checked the work order number and not the name. But I have asked them to rectify it immediately.”

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