It has been a little over a month since sporadic monsoon showers hit the city and already, trouble spots on the Western Express Highway (WEH), where the Public Works Department (PWD) had filled in potholes just a few months ago, have once again sprung up. Motorists are being treated to a bumpy ride.
Potholes and rough patches have become worse on the stretch between Jogeshwari and Bandra after the first few showers hit the city last month. The 25.33 km WEH stretch between Bandra and Dahisar used to be smooth before the rain, as the PWD had conducted repairs by filling in and levelling bumpy spots between March and May.
After a few spells of rain in the past two weeks, the department’s shoddy work has been exposed and the holes and craters have returned to haunt motorists near Andheri and Jogeshwari and other spots on the WEH.
The bumpy blacktop and exposed potholes force traffic to a crawl and causes much inconvenience to motorists at these locations in the rush hours of the evening.
Traffic snarls are common on the stretch towards Jogeshwari via the Jogeshwari flyover in Andheri, as a 50-metre stretch encountered just after taking the flyover is pockmarked with potholes.
This stretch was repaired by the PWD a few months ago. Motorists driving towards south Mumbai via the Jog flyover also encounter potholes of varying sizes after getting off the flyover. The problem is further amplified because some of the potholes have been filled with paver blocks, thereby making the road more uneven and increasing the risk of two-wheelers skidding.
“The numerous potholes are causing us much inconvenience. I feel that the money spent on repairs and resurfacing of this road has gone down the drain, as potholes have started reappearing barely a few months later,” said Andheri (West) resident Ratnakar Ahire.
An official from the engineering department of the PWD said a survey was conducted of the WEH in the beginning of the year, during which some potholes and rough surfaces were noticed.
“Repair and resurfacing work began immediately on this stretch and was completed by May. The PWD has spent approximately Rs 40 lakh on these repairs,” he said.
The official refused to comment on why the potholes had reappeared, but said that the work was temporary and brick powder and crushed stone were used to cover them up.
“During the monsoon we cannot repair potholes, but we will do a proper job after the rains subside,” the official said.