The crucial Mith Chowki junction is now home to craters that bring traffic to a standstill for almost 45 minutes, but the BMC’s pothole tracking system says the whole of Malad has only 26 potholes left
If the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is to be believed, they have fixed most of the potholes in the entire P/North ward which comprises all of Malad. However, in reality, commuters are harrowed and tired of being stuck in traffic every day at the Mith Chowki junction, on Link Road from Kandivli to Malad (West).
Potholes at the major Mith Chowki junction are leading to traffic jams in which vehicles are stationary for almost an hour during peak hours. Pic/Nimesh Dave
The crucial junction has roads leading to Malwani, Gorai, Borivli, etc, all of which are heavily populated areas. In the morning, the area witnesses long lines of vehicles that don’t move from the spot for almost 45 minutes.
The craters formed in the road are so huge that vehicles have no choice but to avoid them – thereby leaving a large portion of the road unused and creating a bottleneck. Many vehicles also use this junction to go to the two huge malls near it.
Traffic snarls are most noticed on the southbound stretch during the peak hours. To make matters worse, a patch near the junction was dug up and resurfaced poorly. Commuters now have to face a bumpy ride due to the uneven finish.
Popat Mane, a traffic constable who mans the junction, told mid-day, “It is a very difficult task to manage traffic, especially in the morning. We have been telling the authorities about the potholes and the bad roads, but the problem needs to be attended to soon.”
According to the BMC’s pothole tracking online system (www.voiceofcitizen.com), the entire P/North ward has only 185 reported potholes, of which they have ‘closed’ or fixed 164. This means there are only 21 potholes in the whole of Malad, an obvious anomaly. The system allows citizens to upload a picture of a pothole in their area, after which it will be verified and moved up the chain of command. However, it is also the BMC engineers’ responsibility to check on the road, report potholes and then get it fixed.
Devendra Amberkar, leader of opposition of Congress in the BMC, alleged, “There is surely some issue with the system, as the potholes reported are too less as compared to the ground reality. The administration claims that the potholes are less and work is done properly, but the reality is that they have been not reporting and uploading the potholes. The objective of having transparency has been completely killed.”
This year, the BMC had taken a decision to let each ward office take care of road maintenance under their jurisdiction, rather than attend to them through the central roads department. However, the approach has failed miserably, with the rains causing potholes in almost all streets in the city and authorities nowhere around to fix the roads.
Assistant Municipal Commissioner D Jain of P/North ward office, said, “We were not aware of this issue and we will be working on this soon. We have already been filling and repairing many potholed roads continuously in this ward.”
Yesha Rachh (22), Kandivli resident
I have always faced problems at Mith Chowki junction. There are a lot of potholes that cause traffic jams. I’ve been using this road for the past three years.
Dhruv Kunwaria (20), Malad resident
I use Malad Link Road every day to travel to my college. If you’re stuck at this junction, you can be assured you will be there for at least half an hour