Mumbai civic body to set up helpline for potholes-related complaints

A helpline would be set up ahead of the monsoon to enable people to lodge complaints about potholes and poor condition of roads in Mumbai, the civic body today told the Bombay High Court.

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Anil Sakhare, the lawyer of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), informed a division bench headed by Justice A S Oka that "the helpline would be manned by civic body engineers who, after receiving the complaint, would assign someone to repair the road. Citizens can track their complaints too."


A pothole-riddled road in Mumbai 

The High Court had earlier this week sought to know from municipal corporations and councils across Maharashtra if they have adopted any mechanism to monitor the condition of roads and address the issue of potholes.

The court had also asked if there was any redressal mechanism in place.

The HC was hearing a PIL on the poor condition of roads in the state and the incidents of bikers losing their lives due to pothole-ridden roads. 

Sakhare informed the court that in 2013, there were 37,000 potholes across the city and in 2014, the number reduced to 14,000.

"This year, we (corporation) are trying to bring down the number substantially," he said adding that complaints can also be filed on the civic body's website which will start functioning from June 7.

The court was also informed that in 2012, a committee was set up under the chairmanship of the civic chief.

"What has the committee done till date? Has it conducted periodical surveys of roads? Committee remains just on paper," the High Court observed. 

The court also suggested the state government set up a common redressal forum which covers all authorities like Corporation, MMRDA, MSRDC, Bombay Port Trust and Public Works Department.

"A citizen will not know which road is being maintained by which authority. If a complaint is filed in a common forum, then the government can forward it to the concerned authority," the HC said.

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