BMC to unleash Rs 68-crore devices to plug potholes

The summer is here, which means monsoon isn’t far away. And like every other year, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is offering assurances of polished roads and comfortable commute before the first raindrop hits the ground.

Jetpatcher machines, like the one shown above, will be employed by the BMC to level roads ahead of the monsoons. Pic/Nimesh Dave

This time the civic body has decided to bring out the big guns three Jetpatcher machines, purchased three years ago for Rs 68 crore, which were so far sitting idle. The corporation intends to hire the services of an agency to handle the machinery. The roads department is also exploring cold mix technologies to fill potholes, for which it plans to float tenders by the end of this month.

After BMC launched its pothole-tracking system, it received over 29,000 complaints about bad roads from citizens. The job of the department assumes more significance as the number of complaints went up by 460% from just 5,000 in 2011, according to NGO Praja Foundation’s report.

A senior roads department official, on condition of anonymity, said, “There are numerous potholes on the roads and to make sure it’s a trouble-free monsoon we plan to employ the Jetpatcher machines. One device each will be used in the city area, and the two suburbs.” BMC chief engineer (roads, bridges and traffic) DR Dixit confirmed, “We will be appointing an agency to operate the Jetpatcher machines. We are also exploring cold mix technologies, which will be helpful in repairing bad roads.”

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