The long road to salvation
With PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal's strongly worded directive to his engineers, citizens of this metropolis can hope for pothole-free roads by November 30, and the next monsoon as well. Hopefully, this will wash away the bitter memories of scarred roads left behind by the heavy monsoons this year, which exposed the poor quality of the city's roads.
Bhujbal has asked his men to use the latest technology to fill up potholes and use the same for road constructions in future. The tone and tenor of the directives may sound harsh, as they speak of inquiry, suspension and cancellation of leave of the officers and engineers concerned. On the contrary, however, it is sure to have a calming, placating effect on the public, after the rough rides it had to weather during the monsoon.
The roads which have been promised repair are stretches of the crucial Eastern and Western express highways and the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Road which lie in the PWD's jurisdiction. The public mind however, does not recognise the distinctions, and it is difficult to tell which areas are managed by the MMRDA and which by the BMC.
Such moves are long overdue for a metropolis that always wants to compete with global cities. However, the BMC still fails to take the help of technology, and its rulers are happy continuing with the backdated and corrupt lot of road contractors. The quality of roads constructed by the MMRDA too leave a lot of be desired. A look at the the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, Swami Vivekanand Road and Lal Bahadur Shashtri Road will confirm this.
In such a situation, we can only hope sagacity prevails with the government and the civic body, and maintaining the arteries of this city becomes a priority.