The hole truth

After all the brouhaha about potholed roads, numerous reports on the state of the city’s roads during the monsoon season, the frantic backtracking by various ministers and then the efforts to fill potholed roads, it seems we are back to square one -- or pothole one, to be precise. After a couple of recent heavy downpours, the city’s roads seem to be falling apart again. Even after spending Rs 40 crore to fill the potholes, Mumbai’s roads are once again pockmarked by these craters.

One cannot fathom why the authorities continue to do a slipshod job of filling these craters. Huge amounts of taxpayers’ money is spent just prior to the monsoon season on road repairs, and to ensure that there are no potholes. Then, a tiresomely familiar pattern ensues. The roads fall apart, commuters complain, the press takes notice, civic authorities and other maintenance bodies start passing the buck about who exactly is in charge of maintaining the roads, and finally a patch-up job begins.

Sadly though, even this patch-up job is usually half-baked -- as one can see from this instance -- and some showers can bring potholes back on the roads.
It’s a sheer waste of money to keep repairing patches of roads, which were supposed to be repaired in the first place. Why does it take a religious festival to bring those in charge to task and highlight the shoddy work of repairing roads?

The fundamental reasons for the sorry state of the road is the poor construction material, lack of supervision of the work, lack of quality material and lastly, simply nobody to take the blame or shoulder the onus when things go wrong. One can only hope that this time, when repairs are undertaken, it is not just for better or for worse, but for good. 

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