The monsoon could well put a damper on Ganeshotsav this year, with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) blaming the non-stop rains for its falling behind on the schedule to repair potholes in the city before the idols are brought in.
A young duo enjoys the rain in the city on Friday. The BMC has blamed non-stop rains for the delay in road repairs ahead of the Ganeshotsav. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
In preparation for the festival, the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvaya Samiti (BSGSS) had submitted a list of 3,000 potholes they had found in the city that needed to be repaired for the festival to go smoothly. However, the BMC seems far from meeting its deadline of August 23, with the system revealing that over 1,000 potholes are yet to be filled.
With a week to go before the festival begins, the potholes need to be filled urgently, as devotees have already begun taking idols to the pandals. File pic
Potholes in areas such as Chinchpokli, Fort, Lalbaug, Parel, even Kandivli (East) and Borivli (East) are yet to be repaired, and BMC officials said the rains have made it difficult to work at a steady pace. With the festival merely a week away, the BSGSS and various Ganpati mandals complain that the delay in repairs has thrown a wrench into their schedule.
The BMC, on the other hand, claims that half the potholes reported on the list do not even exist. Naresh Dahibavkar, president of BSGSS, said, “We had prepared a list of 3,000 potholes and submitted it to the BMC. How can they say that the potholes are not there? Many of the potholes are located near the mandals themselves. Our deadline has gone for toss, but luckily the potholes have not affected any of the idols yet.”
Speaking to mid-day, SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner (roads), said, “When we checked the list they had given us, half of the roads did not have potholes. However, we are working on all the Ganpati routes on priority basis, and have given such instructions to the ward offices as well. If there are other potholes, they need to upload pictures and details on the website, which will make it easier for us to find and work on them.”