Under-fire BMC offers to repair all roads, if the respective agencies foot the bill
Fed up of constant scrutiny by media, blame game among different agencies, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said it is ready to take care of the maintenance of roads and flyovers that are under other urban development agencies such as MMRDA, MSRDC or PWD.
However, the catch is that these agencies will have to pay for the repair and maintenance charges from their kitties.
The civic body is planning to table the issue during the coordination meeting with the state government and the chief minister.
“The issue will be discussed with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday as we are already facing a lot of flak for bad roads and bridges that aren’t owned by us, because the common man won’t know about which agency owns a certain road,” said Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee.
Last Wednesday, Samajwadi Party leader Rais Shaikh had said that all road repairs should be brought under one roof. “The BMC should repair and maintain all roads,” said Shaikh during the standing committee meeting. Bharatiya Janata Party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Nationalist Congress Party members too seconded his opinion. NCP leader Dhananjay Pisal said, “The BMC should repair without taking any charges from other agencies.”
Mayor Sunil Prabhu also agreed on the issue that BMC should take over the maintenance of all city roads. “After constant follow-ups, the chief minister has scheduled a coordination committee meeting of the BMC and state government on Monday. So we are going to put up all 37 issues related to the state government including roads. We let the CM know that if agencies are ready to pay the charges, the BMC is ready to maintain highways and MMRDA roads,” said Prabhu.
MMRDA joint project director Dilip Kawathkar said, “At present the roads that are with us are being repaired by us and once the project is operational we will hand over the roads to the BMC.”
He refused to comment
on whether MMRDA would be okay with shelling out the road repair cost, but said that the authority will maintain the roads under its jurisdiction. Municipal Commissioner, Sitaram Kunte was not available for a comment.
Who’s in charge?
>> BMC: The civic body owns 1,940 km of roads, which excludes Eastern and Western Express Highways and a few other roads where Metro and Monorail work is on.
>> MMRDA and MSRDC: The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation own most of the flyovers in the suburbs.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had announced that both Western and Eastern Express Highways should be handed over to the BMC. JP Road in Andheri (W), Andheri-Ghatkopar Link Road and RC Marg in Chembur are with the MMRDA.