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Mumbai: First showers expose PWD's Rs 2-crore sham

Potholes resurface on the WEH between Dahisar and Bandra in less than a month after the PWD ended the pre-monsoon work on May 31

For the Public Works Department (PWD), there is no greater evil than the Mumbai monsoon for it exposes its tall claims of ‘impeccable’ pre-monsoon work.

Samta Nagar: Despite BMC’s prohibition, PWD used paveblocks as a quick fix measure to fill potholes on WEH near Samta Nagar police station in Kandivli. Pics/Prabhanjan Dhanu
Samta Nagar: Despite BMC’s prohibition, PWD used paveblocks as a quick fix measure to fill potholes on WEH near Samta Nagar police station in Kandivli. Pics/Prabhanjan Dhanu

In less than a month after repairing the Western Express Highway (WEH) between Dahisar and Bandra — as part of pre-monsoon preparations for which the PWD spent about Rs 2 crore — potholes have resurfaced at several locations on the stretch.

Domestic airport: Gravel on the pothole-ridden road near the airport is forcing motorists, especially those on two-wheelers, to tread cautiously to avoid mishaps
Domestic airport: Gravel on the pothole-ridden road near the airport is forcing motorists, especially those on two-wheelers, to tread cautiously to avoid mishaps

While motorists are complaining that the shoddy job has made commuting on the WEH a nightmare, especially for those riding two-wheelers, PWD thinks otherwise. Stating that the department gave its best while repairing the WEH, PWD engineer SS Deshmukh said, “We did our best to ensure that commuters don’t get inconvenienced while travelling on the WEH. We met the deadline for repairing the roads before monsoon. But if potholes have resurfaced, then the issue will be addressed immediately.”

Jogeshwari: A portion of the recently repaired road crumbles near the Hindu Hruday Samrat Balasaheb Thackerey Trauma Care Municipal Hospital in Jogeshwari
Jogeshwari: A portion of the recently repaired road crumbles near the Hindu Hruday Samrat Balasaheb Thackerey Trauma Care Municipal Hospital in Jogeshwari

Lack of understanding
Despite civic body barring the use of paverblocks for repairing potholes, as it leads to uneven roads, the PWD failed to implement the directive. It was observed that PWD staffers were filling potholes using paverblocks and stone crush mix as a temporary measure. “When the surface is wet, paverblocks and stone crush mixture are used to fill a pothole temporarily. Once the rainfall stops for a week or so, we will repair the potholes permanently,” added another PWD engineer.

Problem areas
>> Samta Nagar in Kandivli 
>> Near Balasaheb Trauma Centre in Jogeshwari 
>> Road below the domestic airport flyover 
>> Kalina-Vakola stretch

Voices

Paresh Ingale, Andheri resident
Every year it’s the same sorry state of affairs. We don’t need rocket science to prove that the raw material used during the pre-monsoon road repair work was of substandard quality. It’s time for the government authorities to step in and initiate stringent action against the contractor for doing a shoddy job.

Anil Ambokar, Kandivli resident
For the last five days, potholes on the WEH are inducing unwanted traffic jams. A massive pothole, which has been shoddily filed using paverblocks could become a death trap for motorists, especially for those riding two-wheelers like me. Bikes can easily skid off the surface due to slippery nature of the paverblocks.

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