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Mumbai: Potholes dot WEH, filled half-heartedly

mid-day goes for a test drive, finds the key arterial road has taken quite a pounding

Hold on tight. We’re in for a bumpy ride. A day after potholes on the Western Express Highway caused a 3-km-long traffic jam between Kandivli and Malad, mid-day took a reality check yesterday on the major north-south arterial road through Kandivli, Malad, Jogeshwari, Dahisar, Bandra, Andheri, Santacruz, Vile Parle and Khar. There were no surprises — all claims of monsoon preparedness have taken a pounding, with potholes dotting the length of the WEH.

The WEH, which is maintained by the PWD, had undergone repairs right before the onset of monsoon.

The BMC claims that as on July 4, only 320 potholes were reported in the city, of which just 50 are yet to be attended to.


Pics/Nimesh Dave, Prabhan Dhanu, Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Kandivli-Malad
The bumper-to-bumper traffic of Monday is gone, thanks to the repair work outside the Samta Nagar police station. The 100-m northbound stretch of WEH is pockmarked with potholes just 1 km before the Dahisar toll plaza. A PWD team was seen at the spot and repairs were on on one stretch.

Jogeshwari East
The north-bound stretch near the JVLR junction in Jogeshwari East is uneven and riddled with potholes. The crushed stone mixture used to temporarily fill the potholes has started coming off. This has made the road more slippery.

Dahisar-Andheri
Between Dahisar and Bandra, traffic had slowed down on an over 100-m stretch before the flyover in Malad East due to potholes. Ditto the case with the south-bound stretch between the JVLR flyover and Jog flyover in Andheri (pictured).

Andheri-Bandra
The portion of the WEH where the service road from the Sahar International Airport ends was dotted with potholes. Traffic moved slowly. Workers, presumably from the PWD, were seen filling the potholes with paver blocks. Patchwork was done a little ahead with asphalt. The Kalina junction in Santacruz East had craters right in the middle of the road. The Kherwadi junction had potholes in the centre of the highway’s service road. The service road is largely for those going towards Khar and Bandra from the northern suburbs. A few potholes were also seen on the highway in Andheri (Bisleri junction), Vile Parle and Khar.

Official speak
Senior PWD engineer S S Deshmukh said, “We had taken the repairs on priority and paver blocks have been placed on a more than 100-m stretch near the airport because of which the traffic bottleneck was resolved. At other places, too, we have 24x7 units.”

Hash job
It is not only the PWD that is using paver blocks to cover potholes, but also the BMC. On several roads maintained by the civic body, paver blocks were stuffed into asphalted roads to bridge the gaps. Paver blocks do not bind with asphalted roads and tend to come out in hours. “Potholes can be repaired only with tar or asphalt, along with small stones,” said a source from the BMC’s roads department. The department is not undertaking pothole repairs this time since the job is entrusted with the civic wards. When mid-day spoke to some ward officers, they denied that such a practice is in place.

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