How are we going to convince foreign investors to pump in money and ‘Make In India’ when we can’t even make a road that lasts more than a week? Just two days into the Make In India Week, the internal roads around the venue at MMRDA grounds are already wearing thin, while paver blocks are peeling off the footpaths, even though the entire stretch had been repaired and revamped just last week.

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Just a day after the PM inaugurated the Make in India event at BKC, potholes appeared on the road outside the venue. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Just a day after the PM inaugurated the Make in India event at BKC, potholes appeared on the road outside the venue. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

The event began on Saturday and will continue till February 18, witnessing participation from 30 countries. Considering it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project, and several national and international dignitaries are expected to attend the event, feverish preparations were made ahead of the mega event. mid-day had highlighted on Friday how potholes were repaired, saplings were planted and grass strips were laid at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) venue overnight. Perhaps the rush job is why it’s all falling to pieces now.

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As mid-day had reported, a 1-km stretch of the venue’s internal roads were repaired –potholes were filled and a fresh layer of tar was laid to make the road even. But the asphalt is already worn through in several spots, exposing the underlying layers of gravel and crushed stone powder.

“The maintenance and repairs of roads inside BKC is the job of MMRDA as we are the special planning authority for the area. So, before the event, roads that were uneven were repaired by relaying the bitumen layer, so that people coming to the event can have a smooth ride,” said an MMRDA official.

These internal roads have barely been used, since entry is barred for all vehicles except those ferrying VVIPs. Special battery-operated vehicles have been deployed to ferry the elderly and infirm around the grounds.

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Despite the recent repairs and the light use since, when mid-day visited the site yesterday, portions of the street outside halls 26 and 27 were in bad shape. Even the access road for VVIP guests has started to deteriorate. The question is, how much worse will the roads get by the end of the event?

Pedestrians also had to hop over sections in the pavement where the paver blocks were coming undone. The lush green turf tiles had been laid on the median between roads, along with decorative plants, but even these are wilting at a few spots.

Deputy Metropolitan Commissioner Anil Wankhade said that while he is unaware about the issue, he would enquire about the same with the engineering department. “I’ll have to check with the engineering department if the surface of roads that were repaired has come off within two days,” said Wankhade.

MMRDA’s engineering chief, Prakash Mamdapure, said, “We made the internal roads surrounding the MMRDA grounds a few days before the event. I am not aware about the issue and will check with the concerned officials.”