If you've always wondered why potholes keep coming back on the roads, here’s the answer. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is doing a shoddy job of supervising repair work done by contractors. This came to light when an alert citizen caught some workers ‘fixing’ potholes in a matter of minutes.
Video grabs show a BMC worker ‘fixing’ potholes outside Sena Bhavan in Dadar
On July 25, Sachin Suresh Gupte, a resident of Shivaji Park in Dadar, noticed repair work in progress outside Sena Bhavan. He saw a BMC van and some workers filling potholes. However, he noticed that the workers were hardly interested in fixing the pothole properly.
They would just fill the hole with the asphalt-stone crush mixture, tap it with their feet for about 15-20 seconds and then move on to the next pothole. Gupte started observing the workers and saw that this was the routine they followed while ‘repairing’ all potholes in his area. Irked at the lackadaisical attitude, he filmed the whole procedure using his mobile camera.
According to Gupte, “This is not a new thing. Even last year, I had seen this happening. And we citizens had complained to the local authorities. It seems the complaint has fallen on deaf ears.” Santosh Thakur, a Mira Road resident, added, “I have seen such tactics being employed in other parts of the city as well. This ‘tapping’ method to repair roads is unacceptable.”
Repair work is supposed to be done by contractors. However, a supervising officer from the civic authority is supposed to be present in order to ensure work is done according to prescribed standards and regulations. However, there was no BMC official to oversee the job. If this is how roads are repaired all over the city, it’s no wonder there are so many potholes.
N V Merani, the former chairman of the Standing Technical Advisory Committee, which is consulted by the BMC on matter of roads, said, “The main reason for this problem is that BMC has been doing superficial treatment of roads.
Sachin Suresh Gupte
The proper procedures of filling potholes and repairing roads are never followed by the BMC. Even when a contractor does it in a wrong way, BMC doesn’t impose a fine on him. The bad quality of repair is the root of our pothole woes.”
Sharad Ugade, assistant municipal commissioner, G/North ward said, “We have filled potholes only for temporary relief, so that motorists don’t face traffic issues or damage to vehicles.
At night, we work on filling potholes, and either the contractor or the BMC engineer is present there to supervise work. In the video, workers are also using a spade to settle the potholes.”
The ideal repair way
mid-day spoke to a reputed road contractor to know what exactly the prescribed procedure of filling potholes is. Here are the steps that have to be followed.