Be it the BMC or the state-appointed committees, it appears that nobody is serious about ridding the city of its bad roads. The fact that state government-appointed committee on roads has not met in the last two years to discuss the issue of potholes plaguing the city roads says it all.
Pothole-ridden Hindmata flyover
The panel was formed by the state to ensure that all the government agencies looking after various roads in the city, unite and discuss solutions for constructing better roads that last longer.
Officials from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Devel-opment Authority (MMRDA), Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), Public Works Departmemt (PWD) and the Traffic Police Department are part of the committee.
mid-day report on August 8, in which experts demanded the formation of a single body to maintain all roads in the city. File pics
Speaking to mid-day, M V Mirani, former chairman of the Standing Technical Advisory Committee, which advises the BMC on roads, said, “The state appointed a committee, comprising members from MMRDA, PWD, MSRDC, Traffic and BMC, to discuss how to construct better roads and ensure they remain pothole-free.
It was formed more than three years ago. Initially, a few meetings took place. But, for the last two years, nothing has happened. In my view, the committee should meet at least thrice a year once before monsoon, during monsoon and after the rains are over.” The purpose behind forming this committee was to devise a standard protocol for better construction and maintenance of the city roads.
Transport expert Jitendra Gupta said, “It appears that the committee members aren’t serious about improving the condition of the roads. I believe that the only solution to the problem for bad roads is to put them under the control of one agency, so that all of them are built as per one specified standard.”
While the BMC wants all the city roads under its jurisdiction, it must first ensure that existing ones are well-maintained. Due to the presence of multiple agencies, citizens are confused about who looks after which roads. There are times when the state faces the flak for roads badly maintained by the BMC. This happens because people feel that the state has to maintain all the roads. - CM Prithviraj Chavan
Whose road is it anyway?
Currently, multiple agencies and departments look after the construction and maintenance of various roads and flyovers in the city. The PWD is responsible for the WEH and the EEH. The BMC looks after arterial roads like S V Road, L B S Marg and other internal roads.
The MMRDA maintains flyovers it constructed in the last five years like the SCLR. A few of the flyovers are under the MSRDC, and it collects toll at five entry points to the city via Mumbai Entry Point Limited. The MSRDC is supposed to maintain a majority of flyovers on the WEH, EEH and Sion-Panvel highway.