The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) spent nearly Rs 150 crore to construct three flyovers on the arterial Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road in the last five years to provide faster connectivity between south Mumbai and Sion.
These flyovers were thrown open in 2010 and 2011 and, just five years hence, have started developing massive craters this monsoon. This week mid-day travelled between Sion and Parel on the flyovers and found that close to 100 potholes have cropped up on these flyovers, raising serious questions over the quality of material which was used to make the tar roads.
While the Sion Hospital, King’s Circle and Hindmata flyovers have made life easier for motorists, they are now becoming bottlenecks during morning and evening peak hours in the monsoon, with the potholes slowing traffic down and posing a major threat for bikers.
Thrown open in 2011, this 1.5-km flyover is the newest and most expensive of the three, given that nearly Rs 72 crore was spent on its construction. It is in pretty bad shape, though, with 30 potholes on its south-bound stretch.
The number could have been nearly double this had the remaining potholes not been filled using tar-mixture, which has made them dangerous for bikers. “During rainfall, the potholes that have been filled with tar mixture can’t be seen and, because the filling becomes uneven, can lead to two-wheeler riders skidding and getting involved in accidents.
This flyover was opened just four years back and it has started developing so many potholes already. This indicates that the material used for the construction of the tar road on this flyover was of sub-standard quality,” said Amey Sawant, a commuter.
Constructed at a cost of Rs 45 crore and thrown open in 2010, this flyover is 700 metres long.
On Monday, when mid-day travelled on this flyover, we found that while there weren’t too many potholes on the south-bound carriageway, there were at least 15 on the north-bound one, which, according to traffic police officials, lead to traffic slowing down considerably during evening peak hours.
The uppermost layer of the road has also begun to peel off in places, making the surface uneven and posing a danger for two-wheeler users.
The 500-metre-long flyover, constructed at a cost of Rs 32 crore, was inaugurated in 2010. When mid-day travelled on the flyover, we found that there were nearly 40 potholes on it.
According to traffic police officials, potholes have been cropping up on this flyover for two years now, leading to slow-moving traffic during peak hours.
Another flyover on the Sion-Parel stretch of the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, the Dadar TT flyover, is also in very bad shape.
There were more than 20 potholes on the south- and north-bound stretches of the flyover on Monday and we noticed that while some of the potholes had been filled, several others had been left unattended by the BMC, which maintains the flyover.
Dilip Kawatkar, Joint Project Director, MMRDA
As per the defect-liability clause in the contract, it is the job of the contractor to maintain the bridge for a period of five years from the time it is thrown open to the public. The contractors have already started filling the potholes and the same will be done at the earliest so that motorists aren’t inconvenienced. The flyovers have now been handed over to the BMC.
S O Kori, Chief Engineer (Bridges), BMC
The potholes on those flyovers on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar road which are in the defect-liability period and were handed over to the BMC by the MMRDA are being filled by the contractors who constructed these flyovers. We are waiting for a dry spell after which we will fill the potholes on the Dadar TT flyover. Resurfacing of the road will also be done after the monsoon. We would have completed the resurfacing work on the Dadar TT flyover last year itself, but we did not get permission from the traffic police.
Jitendra Gupta, Transport Expert
The pothole issue occurs because the authorities don’t use the best-quality material available for making the roads. Lower-grade material is used to save money. To avoid the pothole problem, the authorities should take help from developed countries, which use the latest technology and the best-quality material. It’s always better to spend more on quality because the life of the road that is constructed using the latest technology and highest-grade material is much more than roads built using lower-grade material.
Nandkumar Salvi, former BMC Engineer and former member of the Road Monitoring Committee
Quality control is not done properly and that is the reason potholes crop up. There should be a clause in the contract that the potholes should not occur for at least 10 years after a road or flyover is constructed and the contractor will be penalised if they do.