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Who is responsible for these roads?

The greasepaint applied by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and other civic agencies on the city’s roads to make them appear appealing is gone now, and the blemishes are palpable. Citizens have long been demanding cosmetic surgery and every time authorities respond with cosmetic claims. The pre-monsoon work is usually washed away by the first showers to hit the city. Slowly but surely craters begin to show, amply displaying the gap between promises made and ground realities. Incidentally, the total amount incurred in repair work before and during monsoon by BMC has gone up from Rs 40 crore in previous years to Rs 56 crore.


Pic/Nimesh Dave 

“We have taken into consideration the repairs of potholes and we are trying to get them fixed. We cannot blame the quality of materials used by contractors as in some areas the same components last for years,” said Girdhari Agrawal, chief engineer of BMC’s roads department.

To ascertain the truth, MiD DAY visited a few spots in the city that were mended ahead of the monsoon. Here’s what we found:

Nana Chowk
Ward - D

Condition: A stretch less than 100 metres in length is covered with more than 40 potholes, creating traffic congestion for motorists and also inconveniencing pedestrians.

Nana Chowk
Pic/Bipin Kokate

Why this road is important:
The street is used by commuters headed towards Grant Road station, Kemps Corner, Girgaum Chowpatty and Opera House.
Budget allocation for pothole repair: Rs 2.5 crore

People in charge
Corporator: Sarita Patil, 9833084789
Contractor: JKD Enterprises, Rhythm Desai, 9769299412
Ward officer: Parag Masurkar, 9820436607

Sarita Patil, Area corporator
A month ago pre-monsoon repair work was carried out on this road. Till date I haven’t received any complaints with regard to the performance. Once that happens I will try to find solutions.

Rhythm Desai, The contractor
The problem that causes these potholes is that the tar mixture does not get sufficient time to dry during monsoon, resulting in potholes.Every time we fix the craters during rains, the water causes the mixture to get eroded. We can only blame nature.

Parag Masurkar, Ward officer
Potholes are managed by the roads department and any complaint that comes is forwarded to them.

Arvind Bane, Former corporator
The quality of roads is deteriorating every day and commuters face a lot of problems. Adding to the woes are the rains lashing the city, resulting in potholes.

Dadar flyover, Dr Ambedkar road, Dadar (E)
Ward - F south

Condition: There are gaping potholes on this stretch, especially on Dadar (E) flyover. Driving here at night is particularly perilous. One specific tract spanning a little over 100 metres has more than 50 potholes.

Dadar flyover, Dr Ambedkar road, Dadar (E)
Pic/Suresh KK

Why this road is important:
This stretch connects South Mumbai to Eastern suburbs and Navi Mumbai. Budget allocation for pothole repair: Rs 1.25 crore

People in charge
Corporator: Sunil More, 9819222868
Contractor: RP Shah Constructions (Nitin Shah), 9820049005
Ward Officer: Bhagyashree Kapse, 9167203776

Sunil more, Area corporator
I complained to BMC 15 days ago and have investigated the extent of potholes created here during rains. I have submitted photos of these pits and I can assure citizens that work will be done soon.

Nitin Shah, The contractor
We get the quality of materials verified and this time even the thickness of the layers was perfect. We took every measure possible to make sure nothing went wrong. Somewhere on the flyover there has to be a leakage because of which water seeps into the layers, causing potholes.

Bhagyashree Kapse, Ward officer
The problem relating to potholes is handled solely by the central agency. So, they are the ones who can comment on this issue, not me.

Stretch between Bandra and Dahisar on Western Express highway
Agency maintaining the road: Public Works Department (PWD)

Condition: The worst hit is the area between Jogeshwari and Santacruz. Motorists using the southbound road of WEH have to apply brakes immediately after getting off the Jog flyover in Andheri as once again a 100-metre stretch here has turned pothole-riddled. Repairing was carried out just before monsoon.

Bandra and Dahisar on Western Express highway

Another trouble spot is a 50-metre area on the southbound lane of WEH just before the flyover at domestic airport junction near Santacruz. During peak hours motorists get stuck in traffic at this junction because of the numerous pits. This area was mended in the month of May.

The condition of the northbound road WEH is also poor. A 100-metre sweep, a short distance away from Jog flyover, also has potholes, because of which traffic is regularly affected during evening hours and two-wheelers have to go through a perilous ride.

Incidentally after MiD DAY clicked this photo on Wednesday and took up the issue with PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal, some repairs have been carried out on the stretch.

Why this road is important:
The area is on Western Express Highway that stretches from Bandra to Dahisar. Beyond the city limits, it continues as Mumbai-Delhi National Highway 8. The road connects the city to its suburbs, including Sahar International Airport.

Person in charge
PWD executive engineer
B B Lohar, 9833565727

Dattani Park, entrance of Thakur Village, Kandivli (e)
Ward - R south
Condition: More than 50 potholes on this course are the cause of misery for residents of Thakur Village and adjacent areas. Students of Thakur Public School often get delayed because of traffic snarls at the junction. It takes almost half an hour to reach the interiors if you get stuck in one of these jams.

Thakur Village,  Kandivli
Pic/Nimesh Dave

Why this road is important:
The street connects Thakur Village and neighbouring areas at Kandivli (E) to Western Express Highway.
Budget allocation for pothole repair: Rs 3 crore

People in charge
Corporator: Yogesh Bhoir, 9821087312
Contractor: API Constructions (Arvind Jain) 9819245645
Ward officer: Sanjog Kabare, 9167203774

Yogesh Bhoir, Area corporator
We are facing innumerable problems because of the potholes and I have asked the corporation to look into the matter seriously. Pre-monsoon work was carried out here, but the erratic rainfall has played havoc in these parts.

Arvind Jain, The contractor
I was not aware of any such concerns in the area. But now I will look into the situation and get repairs done.

Sanjog Kabare, Ward officer
We have uploaded photographs of the craters and if still the situation is not attended to, I will have to personally intervene as currently, potholes are the responsibility of roads department.

Compiled by: Sujit Mahamulkar, Ranjeet Jadhav, Chetna Yerunkar, Naveen Nair and Priyanka Dhomse 

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