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Mumbai: Aarey road 'repaired' for 3rd time in 2 years

Work underway by PWD to fix the rugged road, which is usually repaired only in bits and pieces, and so falls apart in a month or so

Hoping to gain some brownie points before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the public works department (PWD), headed by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), has once again started repairing the arterial Aarey Milk Colony Road. The work is expected to be complete before the polling day.

The repaired road at gate no 2 of Aarey Milk Colony. Pic/Prashant Waydande
The repaired road at gate no 2 of Aarey Milk Colony. Pic/Prashant Waydande

In the last one year the road, which connects Goregaon on the Western Express Highway (WEH) with Powai and Marol, has been patched up twice — before and after the monsoon. But it didn’t take more than a month for it lose shape, because the 8 km stretch is only patched up in spots to begin with, and the shoddy work ensures a bumpy ride for motorists.

When mid-day visited the road on Friday, we saw that the same stretch was being repaired by the PWD. Executive engineer Milan Kamble said, “We started repair work on the road over a week back, and it will be completed in less than one month. We usually do the repairs at the night to avoid interrupting traffic movement.”

Asked why the road needed fixing a third time in one year, he refused to comment. But a senior PWD official, requesting anonymity, said, “The Aarey Milk Colony Road is owned by Aarey Dairy, which, being a government body, gives us the money for repairs.

It requires overhaul time and again because it passes through a small patch of forest that receives heavy rainfall. Every time they give us a limited amount of money, and we can only repair the patches that are in bad shape. The solution to potholes is constructing a cement-concrete (CC) road.”

But the PWD proposal to build the main road of CC was turned down by a cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure in February, as some of the ministers thought it fell under the BMC’s jurisdiction, and the corporation should make the road and stop the toll collection later on.

Concrete plan
The PWD intended to convert the present tar road to CC and the project was worth R135 crore. The related proposal stated that the main Aarey Colony Road connecting the Western Express Highway at Goregaon end with Powai and Marol would be made of cement-concrete and the internal road of asphalt. At present, R5 is charged for two-wheelers and R15 for light utility vehicles using the road.

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