mid-day editorial: BMC needs better planning to pave the way

Mumbaikars who thought dodging potholes on the road was a tricky affair during the monsoon, now have to leap across gaping trenches as the BMC digs up roads all over the city.

The civic body has now decided to allow road works to go on in the island city 24x7. This is shift from the previous rule that allowed work only in the late hours, from 11 pm to 6 am. The reason cited for this change is that it will expedite the roadwork and help the authorities meet their deadlines.

While adhering to deadlines is always welcome, dug-up roads round the clock simply mean more trouble for motorists and pedestrians who will now have to endure the dust and noise during the day as well. It compounds problems for people suffering from respiratory ailments too, especially in this season.

This need to work round the clock has arisen simply because of a lack of planning and thought. Earlier deadlines may not have been met, leading to this haste and overtime work.

Mumbaikars are now tired of seeing roads dug up for months on end, with no end to the work. There have been numerous instances quick-fix jobs that are nothing but an eyewash. Very often, contractors who have done slipshod work slip off without any punishment or fine, and other times, they are actually rewarded and given repeat contracts!

The paver-block footpaths are a prime example of the wastage of money that stems from bad planning. First, paver blocks were put, then removed, then reinstalled. Now, many of them are chipped, broken or simply ripped off, making it challenging for pedestrians — and almost impossible for senior citizens — to negotiate the pavements.

When it comes to roadwork, it is not the quantity of time, but the quality of work that is all important. If round-the-clock work it must be, then officials must ensure top-grade, foolproof work, so that citizens are not put through this rigmarole repeatedly.

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