Mumbai Rains: Potholes have led to over 25 deaths this monsoon
The pothole ridden stretch on Sion-Panvel Highway
Potholes in the city during the monsoons is something that has become synonymous with Mumbai rains, but now the High court has taken notice and reprimanded the BMC for its shoddy work.
In a report by The Hindu, the Bombay High Court rapped the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for its failure to repair potholes in the city, sighting that it has led to over 25 deaths this monsoon. The hearing took place in the matter of a letter written by Justice Gautam Patel in 2013 to the then Chief Jusitice, alerting him of the number of potholes in the cities and the rising cases of fatalities that occur due to them.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N.M. Jamdar were hearing the suo motu hearing based on the petition of the poor road conditions in Mumbai. The court has now appointed nodal officers to look into the complaint.
In response the senior counsel for the BMC, Anil Sakhare said that the BMC had formed a committee to look into the matter and had also put a toll-free number in place for commuters to lodge their complaints. On hearing this, Chief Justice Chellur said, “How many more do you [BMC] want to eliminate before the next monsoon? The condition of the roads here are bad. We are not at all satisfied.”
Mr. Sakhare also said that a status report on the repair work being carried out on bad roads would be prepared. In response, the court said that it wasn’t satisfied with the BMC’s efforts and appointed member secretaries of the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority from each district as nodal officers.
The courts also passed a motion saying, “Any person with a complaint regarding potholes causing accidents can forward it to their civic body and the nodal officer.”
Chief Justice Chellur said, “We have to set up an agency to supervise you. It’s a shame. The roads in Mumbai are so bad I don’t feel happy traveling on the roads.” In response, Mr. Sakhare submitted that the BMC had, so far, addressed over 500 complaints of potholes, to which the court said that they were not concerned with how many mails were attended to. Chief Justice Chellur also said, “The corporation is obliged to maintain the roads.”
The court also noted that the issue of potholes was commonplace in a number of districts and cities in the state and said, “We implead as respondents in this petition all local municipal corporations and municipal councils of the State.” The next hearing has been set for two months from now.
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