Yesterday, this pothole at Girgaum was patched up by the BMC, just a day after it had already been repaired; since June 19, this spot has seen ten patchwork jobs; the civic body blames the uneven depth of the pothole for its repeated return
Already infamous for carrying out shoddy road repairs across Mumbai, the civic authorities are struggling to tackle one particular pothole that just refuses to die. This pothole, located on Girgaum’s SVP road, has had to be patched up five times in the past month alone, but somehow keeps cropping back up again each time.
The latest repair was carried out yesterday, even though the BMC had already filled the pothole just the day before. Since August 10, this is the fifth repair
According to local resident and activist, Jeetendra Ghadge, this stretch at the traffic signal near a small police chowki on SVP Road, has been prone to potholes for several months. Frustrated with the poor quality of repairs, he started to keep tabs on the pothole from June, clicking photographs each time it reappeared and was patched up again.
The last repair was carried out yesterday, even though the BMC had already filled the pothole just the day before that. An engineer from the ward office said that they laid asphalt on a longer stretch yesterday in a bid to ensure the pothole doesn’t make a comeback again. Pics/Jeetendra Ghadge
He even filed an RTI application to learn who had been carrying out such shoddy work. Ghadge noted that each time workers would come and fill up the pothole using an asphalt mix produced in the BMC’s Worli plant. But due to rains and continuous traffic flow, the mixture would just keep coming off every few days.
Apart from carrying out repairs each time the pothole returned, the workers would also relay extra layers of asphalt to prevent the pothole from reappearing on the busy road, which sees considerable traffic heading towards Chowpatty. In fact, in the three months since he began this initiative, the pothole has been patched up a total of ten times.
The most recent repairs were carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday. Ghadge then filed an RTI to find out whether it was a contractor who was repeatedly doing sub-standard work. “I feel the ward officers need to be held responsible because they never visit roads and check the condition personally.
Most of them sit in air-conditioned offices and call the shots. As far as this particular case is concerned, I demand an enquiry to check if any contractor was a beneficiary or was it just the shoddy work of BMC officials. We have already seen people losing lives because of such potholes,” Ghadge told mid-day. However, the BMC ward office responded to the RTI query saying that the road had not been assigned to any contractor and was being maintained by the civic body itself.
The civic officials from D ward could not give the exact cost of repairs on this particular pothole, but normally the civic body incurs a cost of Rs 363 per sq metre to fill up a pothole (this is the cost of just the material). Based on this figure, the approximate cost of each repair comes up to about Rs 1,000, including material, labour and other costs.
“I will check with the maintenance department and get back on this on Thursday,” said ward officer Devidas Kshirsagar. According to an engineer from the department, the problem was not the quality of work but the pothole’s uneven depth.
“Repairs always depend on the pothole’s depth and surface. If the depth is uneven, the material never sticks and keeps coming off. But it will be wrong to say that it was shoddy work and that we incurred losses because of it. We had not given the contract to anyone, our own workers did it,” he told mid-day.
10: The number of repairs since June 19