Monsoon means pothole season for Mumbaikars, and this year it looks like people have to grin and bear it as usual or, use patience, a sense of humour and a nifty sense of balance all of it in proportion to combat the bogey on the roads, these craters that are a danger to limbs and also can send your car into the garage making you shell out high amounts for repairs.
A report in this paper said yesterday that First Information Reports (FIRs) against contractors and third-party auditors in the road scam by the BMC, has scared contractors for potholes repairs away.
BMC’s pothole repairs contracts for the coming monsoon have found no takers, despite inviting bids thrice. The only bidder had quoted a sum 40 per cent above the estimate.
This is bad news and points out to the fact that for years now, civic authorities have been accepting shoddy work with reference to road repairs. It is only when there was pressure about why contractors who had done slapdash work earlier, were chosen to do work again that complaints have started being filed. Contractors too, if they are confident about the quality of their work would not be scared to take on pothole repairs. If they did ensure A-quality work then, there would be not grounds for complaint or, for anybody to haul them up.
In any case, instead of dithering now that the monsoon is already upon us, it is up to the civic authorities to tackle this problem in double quick time. Passing the buck, protesting that claims are exaggerated that potholes are not as big as people claim or even that these are figments of people’s imagination is specious.
In the end, all the Mumbaikar wants is a pothole free road. This season throws up so many challenges for commuters, authorities need to do all they can to ensure that life is made some what easier for the Mumbaikar.
The unwillingness of contractors to take up pothole repairs is a bad portent for the beginning of the season. But, the Mumbaikar lives and jumps over these potholes in eternal hope.