The monsoon is expected to lash Mumbai in some 10 days, going by the annual arrival of rains in the second week of June, but the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) started the pre-monsoon work just five days ago.
It is doubtful whether the civic body will be able to wrap up the pre-monsoon reinforcements before the season begins, leading commuters to worry about bumpy rides on rugged roads. On the other hand, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority has completed 90 percent of the pre-monsoon work, it says.
The BMC carries out rain-related works every year, and a contract of Rs 20 lakh is made for repairing potholes before monsoon in every ward of the city. So the contract is worth Rs 4.8 crore for repairs across all of BMC’s 24 wards.
The city’s roads are not in a condition to be driven on even before monsoon. If the pre-monsoon work is delayed, the condition would worsen during the peak of the season, commuters fear. As it is, the civic administration has drawn flak in recent years for its pre-monsoon work not being up to the mark.
The complaints received through BMC’s pothole tracking system have risen over the years. The BMC had promised to bring in new and improved techniques, but that is yet to be seen in the works being carried out. BMC chief engineer D R Dixit said, “We started the pre-monsoon work just a few days back and we will complete it before monsoon. The Rs 20 lakh contract has been given, and the amount is being used for pothole repairs. We will also use new techniques this year just like the cold mix technologies we brought in last year.”
The MMRDA, meanwhile, claimed it has finished most of the work and will finish the rest next week. Since the Metro rail work is in progress for over six years now, the development body had to get cracking on the pre-monsoon fixing of roads that have been spoilt because of the rail’s construction. MMRDA joint project director Dilip Kawatkar said, “We have completed about 90% of the work and will complete it by the coming week. The three roads that fall under our jurisdiction have been taken care of, and JP Road has been on the priority.”