Concerned over bad condition of roads in Ulhasnagar town in nearby Thane district, the Bombay High Court has asked the municipal body to impose penal and deterrent conditions in tenders or agreements with civil contractors for filling up potholes.
Blacklisting contractors who do not carry out the work properly and videography of the repair process were among the conditions mentioned by the court which directed the Commissioner to submit a proposal incorporating changes to be brought into tender documents and agreements.
"The Corporation will have to address the issues taking into consideration public outcry in respect of the work carried out under the tender of filling of potholes and patch works," said a bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil while hearing a public interest litigation filed by a resident.
The PIL, filed by Prakash Kukreja, alleged that the work of filling potholes and patch work is not carried out properly, due to which, the Corporation has to issue tenders repeatedly. Instead of filling up potholes with cement concrete material, mud is used which results in reopening of potholes especially during rainy reason, he said.
The bench felt that stringent conditions are required to be incorporated in the agreement (with contractors), which should be deterrent in nature and penal in consequences.
"In case the Corporation is satisfied that contractor has failed to carry out work as per the tender and agreement executed and public money has been wasted, then such contractor shall not be permitted to participate in the tender process in future," said the Judges.
The HC empowered the Municipal Commissioner to issue instructions for conducting videography of the work of filling of potholes and patch work carried out by the contractor on any of the selected roads.
"The Commissioner shall take appropriate steps to supervise ongoing filling of potholes and patch work and maintain a record of the same. On the next date of hearing (December 2), we expect the counsel for the Corporation to place on record further details as directed by this court," the bench said.
The Judges also asked the Municipal Commissioner to take note of allegations made in the PIL and fix appropriate responsibility on the concerned officers/engineers of the civic body so that in future the work of filling of potholes, patch work and other work concerning construction, maintenance of roads is carried out in more befitting manner.