Contractors blame BMC polls for delay in road repairs
Say corporation's May 31 deadline to conclude roadwork is impossible to meet; hold elections, repetitive quality control tests conducted by civic officials responsible for setback
With the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials informing that only 70 per cent concretisation and 85 per cent asphalting of roads will be done by May-end, it appears that even this year Mumbaikars will have to brace up for bumpy rides during the monsoon. The officials added that no excavation work would be carried out after mid-May.
Though the BMC had commenced the roadwork last year, till April 2, it managed to concretise just two major roads and asphalt 59 major roads, which is way off its target of 159. The auditing of contractors’ work and the soil testing were time-consuming processes, said the officials. “They keep stalling work by two to three days. We do conduct quality tests on our own, but the BMC just wastes our time by carrying out similar tests,” grumbled a contractor.
On the other hand, asphalting work of 600 minor roads got delayed due to BMC election. Since the work orders were passed after the election, contractors said it was impossible for them to meet the pre-monsoon deadline. Till April 2, only 22 minor roads have been reconstructed.
Work in progress: Streets under construction at Dr S S Rao Road in Parel and Nehru Road in Vile Parle (E). Pics/Pradeep Dhivar, Datta Kumbhar, Sunil Tiwari and Santosh Nagwekar
‘No work during rains’
“The deadline for excavating roads has been set at May 15. The contractors have to finish the layering work before May 31. While most of the major roads would be completed by then, the rest would be taken up after monsoon. Potholes would be filled simultaneously. No repair work will be carried out during monsoon,” informed R Ghodke, Chief Engineer (Roads, Bridges and Traffic).
At present, concretisation of 34 roads, asphalting of 83 major and 275 minor roads is in progress. Nine major roads were dropped from the BMC’s concretisation and asphalting list. Last year, the civic body had allocated Rs 549 crore for major roads and Rs 375 crore for minor roads.