HC asks civic bodies to submit action plan over pothole menace

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha was hearing a suo motu public interest litigation on the poor condition of roads across the state and the recent incidents of motorists losing their lives due to potholes. 

Pursuant to orders passed by the bench on July 29, the commissioners of Greater Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai corporations, the chief executive officers of MMRDA, MSRDC and Mumbai Port Trust, the chief secretary of Maharashtra government and other officials from Public Works Department and Urban Development Department were present in court today.

All the officials submitted to the court the reasons behind the pothole problem and the procedure followed by the corporations while awarding tenders to contractors for road repair and maintenance.

"The paperwork is good but results are not seen. What do you (corporations) propose to do in future? Roads are excellent outside municipal corporation limits. But the moment the municipal corporation limits starts, roads are bad. If the highways can be maintained so well why not the arterial roads?" Shah asked.

Suggesting the authorities to learn from foreign countries, the court said, "How do foreign countries manage this problem? In a city like Mumbai where prices are so high...people cannot afford to stay in south Mumbai where their offices are located and hence have to travel a lot... travelling becomes worse on such roads."

The bench after hearing submissions made by the commissioners and chief secretary directed the civic bodies of Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Vasai Virar and Mira Bhayendar corporations to submit a report giving details about its plan of action.

The report will have to be submitted on September 5.

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