Bombay HC issues notices to Maha govt, BMC over pothole menace
Irked over the condition of roads in the city and the recent incidents of accidents due to potholes-ridden roads, the Bombay High Court today took suo moto (on its own) cognisance of the matter and issued notices to the state government and municipal corporations.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha took notice of the roads in the city and neighbouring districts based on a letter written by a sitting high court judge, Justice Gautam Patel.
Justice Patel had written a letter on July 24 highlighting the pathetic condition of roads which has resulted in casualties and accidents.
The high court today issued show-cause notices to the state government and civic bodies.
"The chief secretary of the state government, principal secretary of the Public Works Department, Municipal commissioners of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane Municipal corporations and the chief executive officers of MMRDA, MSRDC and MPT shall remain personally present on August 13," the court ordered.
The court questioned the method of awarding contract and follow up by the civic bodies. It also raised serious concern over the non co-ordination between various authorities which are concerned with maintenance and repair work of roads.
The high court queried if the corporations award contracts based on lowest price instead of best technical quality.
It also said that the process of awarding contract just before monsoon every year should be stopped.
"Does the civic body have the time to examine the competence and credentials of these contractors?" the court asked.
The court has also asked the Central Road Research Institute in Delhi to send a senior official for the hearing on August 13.
The bench today quoted an August 2006 order passed by the high court on the issue. "It is the government and its agencies' duty, responsibility and obligation to provide proper roads within their jurisdiction to the commuters throughout the year. By not doing so, these authorities may expose themselves to serious consequences by infringing the valuable rights of the people. Lest it must be forgotten, bad roads mean physical damage, huge economic loss and accidents," the 2006 order had said.