In the past few weeks, as thousands of citizens prepared for the Mumbai Marathon that ended yesterday, the BMC was locked in a race against time as well, attempting to finish roadwork in south Mumbai before the international running event could take off.
Ultimately, the civic body did manage to complete its work just in time for the Marathon, in a rare display of speed and efficiency. In fact, the corporation finished the project a full fortnight before its deadline at the end of January. “There was immense political pressure for this work to be done.
We had to finish the work before time and had to level the road for the runners,” said an official, requesting anonymity. While the marathon was approaching, the organisers had written to the BMC last month, asking it to either suspend all roadwork or finish it before the event, to prevent any mishaps.
At the time, most of the roads in the city were dug up, which only added to the urgency of the repairs, especially on roads like the Mahapalika marg, which fall in the race circuit. Some 40,000-odd people participated in this edition of the marathon, and if the roads had been left dug up, they could have presented difficult hurdles for the runners.
In previous editions of the race, several runners had complained about the unevenness and poor quality of the roads. This year, however, not only were the roads levelled in record time, they seemed smooth and well made as well.
This will undoubtedly be a boon for motorists who will continue to use the roads in the coming days. “Most of the roads have been levelled properly and will not be dug up again.