Visual images spoke eloquently about the mess that the roads are in. At specific locations, reporters who worked on the story actually measured the length and width of the potholes to illustrate the point.
While the report was detailed, one has to admit that the scenario is depressingly familiar for the Mumbaikars by now. Their famous resilience and patience have become inured to listening to exactly how much has been earmarked for road repairs prior to every monsoon. The pattern usually goes something like this: the civic authorities earmark some crores for road repairs, which the public learns via the media in May or April before the monsoon. Periodically, officials give statements of some new machine or cutting-edge technology, which they plan to put to use.
Sure enough, once the monsoon starts, the roads start going from bad to worse. We are not even taking into account the other problems that occur during this season — flooding, clogged drains, open manholes and traffic snarls which turn commuting into a living hell.
Officials have been using the excuse that the rains arrived very early, but why do we have to wait until monsoons to be ready? Authorities must start much in advance, given the amount of traffic in the city and the particularly challenging commuterscape. When you think of how the taxpayers’ money is wasted on ineffective and incomplete repairs, the only thing that comes to mind is that these excuses and explanations are as shallow as the potholes are deep.