Mumbai: Fight over credit for road repair delays the work itself

Citizen groups in Kurla allege political interference behind stalling of the project that they have been fighting for for over a year

The Holy Cross School road in Kurla repairs of which are yet to start
The Holy Cross School road in Kurla repairs of which are yet to start

With hardly any time left for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, netas are in a rush to do the ‘ribbon-cutting ceremony’ of each and every development project, to take credit. Ironically, this is what has led to delay in repair works starting on a Kurla road.

Citizen groups in the eastern suburb have blamed political interference for the work, which was supposed to start last week, being stalled.

Ongoing fight
Kurla Citizen Seva Sangh, a group of people from Kamani-Kurla, has been being fighting for the repair of the Holy Cross School road for more than a year now. The road is used by schoolchildren and senior citizens living in the area. It also connects to one of the main roads.

Darrel Fernandes of the Sangh said, “We have been following the repair issue with the local ward and road department since the last one-and-a-half year. After several complaints, the road department awarded a contract, and work was supposed to start from November 15. However, it still hasn’t.”

“When I contacted ward and department officials, they told me that local corporator Manali Tulaskar was stalling the work. Officials said she wanted to do the inauguration of the repairs, and hence, forced them to postpone the work.”

The other side
Tulaskar, however, denied any interference. “There is some misunderstanding among citizens. I have not postponed the work. In fact, the tender is yet to awarded. We have to close the entire road for the repair.”

When mid-day contacted executive engineer of the road department Sridhar Choudhary, he said, “I am not aware of any political interference in the project. We have issued work order to the contractor to start. It’s possible that the work was postponed due to some permission issues — we are supposed to take permission from several departments, including the traffic police. Once all the necessary clearances are in place, we will start.”

90
Number of days the contractor has to complete repairs once contract is awarded

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