In order to ward off criticism for rugged roads on its flyovers during monsoon, Mumbai Entry Point Pvt Ltd (MEPL), the toll collection agency at the five entry points to the city, has started repairing the 28 flyovers in the city under its purview. Learning its lesson from last year, when it had to brave scathing censure for pothole-ridden flyovers, the company has started maintenance work before the rains hit the roads this year. The flyovers where repairs are underway are Cadbury Junction, CST-Kurla, Sion, Vakola, Rani Sati Marg, Datta Pada, L&T, JVLR and Aarey Colony.
On Tuesday, MiD DAY visited various flyovers on the Western and Eastern Express Highways (WEH and EEH) to see if repairs were under way. At most MEPL flyovers on WEH — JVLR and Aarey colony — we found workers painting the walls and dividers, and installing light cutters. At some points, construction material was kept for final touches. One of the workers said, “In the morning, we paint the parapets or fill small potholes. The resurfacing of roads is only done in the night so that traffic is not held up.”
Sources from MEPL claim that commuters on Sion flyover on Dr Ambedkar Road will be able to enjoy a smooth drive as the resurfacing and layering on nine flyovers has started. When we visited Dattapada flyover in Borivli, we found that it has been resurfaced, and does not have any potholes. We did spot a few ditches on the Vakola-Kalina flyover, along with a rough patch of road. But the MEPL authorities are confident that they will repair all the flyovers before monsoon.
Bound by contract
In November 2010, MEPL paid Rs 2,100 crore to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd (MSRDC) as upfront payment towards the 16-year toll contract for the five entry points to Mumbai. These are at Vashi on Sion-Panvel Highway, Mulund on Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg and on the EEH, Airoli Bridge on Airoli-Mulund Road, and Dahisar on the WEH.
As per the agreement, in addition to toll collection, MEPL will also maintain and repair flyovers and allied structures on the EEH, WEH, Sion-Panvel Highway and the Airoli Bridge. The tender was issued with the condition that the agency will also maintain road subways and flyovers inside Mumbai that are yet not under the defect liability period Jayant Mahiskar, MEPL director, said, “We have already started the pre-monsoon repair and maintenance work on the flyovers that fall under our sphere of responsibility. The work will finish by May 31. On many flyovers, we are resurfacing roads so that motorists are able to enjoy a safe and smooth journey during rainy season.”