Just a week into the monsoon season, Mumbai roads are already riddled with potholes — 165 of them, by the BMC’s own count. While the civic body claims it has already dealt with a majority of these craters, mid-day spotted several pockmarked roads across the city.
Granted, the pothole menace has reduced over the years — just three years ago, the city had recorded as many as 42,000 potholes.
Following a PIL in the high court, however, the number has been shrinking every year, and finally came down to 6,000 last year. However, for all of BMC’s claims of making the roads monsoon ready, this reporter found the reality is very different. Potholes have mushroomed across the city; western suburbs like Malad and Andheri got the worst of it, while the eastern suburbs reported comparatively fewer potholes.
When mid-day contacted BMC’s chief engineer (roads) Sanjay Darade, he refused to comment on the matter.
Potholes have already started to hold up traffic and cause serious inconvenience to motorists crossing the busy junction of SV Road and Marve Road in Malad. This crucial junction serves traffic going towards Goregaon, Kandivli and towards the local railway station, but with large craters taking over the road, vehicles can get stuck for as long as 20 minutes here. Pic/Satej Shinde
Dr Ambedkar Road
Those going from the eastern suburbs to south Mumbai also face a rough ride, with the important Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road now riddled with potholes.
mid-day also spotted potholes at Juhu circle and Juhu-Vile Parle Development (JVPD) Scheme, like this one near the JVPD bus depot. Not only does this cavity make for a bumpy ride for motorists, but it has also exposed utility pipes, making way for more problems in the future. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
In the east, LBS Marg is also pockmarked with large craters, causing problems for motorists and pedestrians alike. With puddles collecting inside the potholes, it gets even harder to gauge the depth of the cavity. Vehicles passing from Ghatkopar to Sion and back face a particularly bumpy ride at the Gangawadi junction. Pic/Sameer Markande
Potholes appear in the posh Five Gardens area and at other spots such as Khalsa college. Even the tony Five Gardens area has fallen victim to the pothole menace, along with several other areas in Matunga, such as Nathalal Parekh Marg, Bhimani Street, Telang Road. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Motorists were seen dodging potholes and even the police had a tough time managing the traffic with potholes marring SV Road at the Bandra-Mahim junction (seen above) and near Andheri station. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
'Shoddy repairs won’t work'
Stopgap measures: Workers fill potholes in Matunga with stones and gravel — a stopgap measure that ends up being displaced quickly by heavy vehicles.
Nikhil Desai, Matunga resident
Today, I saw the contractor’s men fill up a pothole using khadi (stones), but soon after, the material was washed away. Heavy vehicles passing over the stretch removed the stones in no time. I called up the ward office and complained to them and also called the contractor and argued with him, after which he poured cement into the pothole.
Shyama Kulkarni, Bandra resident
There have been a few potholes but not too many. So we are just waiting with every passing day to see how many crop up by the end of the monsoon. Besides, the slope of roads is such that water accumulates towards the ends, inconveniencing pedestrians.
Dial a pothole
1916: Toll-free helpline to report potholes