Despite tall claims by municipal agencies and toll operators maintaining flyovers, the pre-monsoon repair work on all flyovers has not been finished yet. The Vakola flyover on the Western Express Highway is a case in point.
Mumbai Entry Point Limited (MEPL) the toll collection agency, which collects toll at the entry points to Mumbai, and as a part of its contract has to maintain flyovers on the highways, claims the work on the Vakola flyover was not finished because of lack of bitumen in the market. Hitendra Pachkale, an Andheri resident, said, “Within just few hours of rain on Sunday the Western Express Highway and especially the Vakola flyover was full of potholes. The monsoon is here but the contractor is still to do the resurfacing and repair work. At some places the patch work on potholes is getting undone.”
The situation of other flyovers like the Andheri JOG flyover, JVLR flyover and Aarey Colony flyover is not much different, despite the MEPL claiming that repair was carried out on these flyovers. At present, MEPL maintains 27 flyovers on these important highways. Within just a few hours of rain, potholes began sprouting on roads and flyovers, which were supposedly repaired just over a month ago.
When questioned, MEPL director Jayant Mhaiskar said, “We had started the pre-monsoon repair work of the roads on the 27 flyovers four months ago and for most flyovers the work has been completed. The work on the Vakola flyover is pending as there was shortage of bitumen in the market. Within two days we will complete the same so that inconvenience is not caused to motorists.”
On WEH, the upper surface of the highway at a small stretch near Kherwadi was removed by the Public Works Department (PWD), because of which the road has become uneven. Till date it has not been patched up with bitumen. At some other places on the highway the situation is not much different. When contacted, PWD officials were not available for comment.