Rs 68 crore down the pothole

Citizens can break their backs and spend oodles of money repairing their cars, navigating pothole-filled roads in India’s financial capital, but the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) just couldn’t care less. The civic body bought three Jet Patchers in 2010, coughing up a staggering Rs 68 crore. But three years down the line, they are all lying idle because the BMC has not got around to appointing an agency to operate the machines.

Jet Patchers
While commuters risk their lives every day on pothole-ridden roads, the Jet Patchers have been lying unused since 2010. File Photo

An officer of the Roads department told SUNDAY MiD DAY, “We had planned to appoint an agency to operate the pothole filling-machines. But the standing committee couldn’t agree on one.” According to sources, a plan was finalised to appoint an agency, way back in April 2013. The agency was to be given a contract by May 31 but due to some technical delay the proposal reached the standing committee late. The committee sat on the matter for two weeks before the rains arrived and put paid to the plans.

When asked about the delay, Rahul Shewale, standing committee chairman, said, “We will consider the proposal next week, as we wanted a presentation from the roads department on how the machine would work and how the agency appointed would be maintaining it. Once they answer our queries, we will decide the next course of action.”

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