It’s a story we are tired of reporting year after tiresome year — how crores of our hard-earned money are spent with nonchalance and no accountability, with absolutely awful results. Our bureaucratic masters seem to churn out one ambitious plan after another, from more sea bridges to skywalks nobody uses, to longer flyovers. What they can’t seem to give us is a road that functions the way it is supposed to.
Consider the Eastern and Western Express Highways, for instance. The Public Works Department allegedly repairs these arterial roads between March and May every year. This year, they spent approximately Rs 40 lakh on each highway for that purpose alone. One mildly heavy shower later, the shoddy nature of the work that was carried out has been exposed.
Then there are the flyovers, some of which are supposed to be maintained by the toll collecting agency Mumbai Entry Point Limited — you know, the agency that charges you a fee every time you enter the city, promising you a better commute in return? This organisation engaged in some repairing and resurfacing of flyovers at Andheri and Kalina before the monsoon. The potholes, however, are back on both locations with a vengeance.
If you think that is shocking, you obviously haven’t driven on the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road lately. The Gandhinagar Junction flyover there, also under the jurisdiction of Mumbai Entry Point Limited, has possibly the most number of potholes in the city. The streetlights haven’t worked in two years. No one seems to know why. Contractors are supposed to maintain new flyovers for a period of five years. This appears to be the case only on paper.
We would like to inform the government that their plan of converting Mumbai into Shanghai only amuses us. They can start by giving us decent roads.