Despite allocating a whopping Rs 900 crore for repair works of major and minor roads in the city, it has been learnt that at Monday’s standing committee meet, another budget of Rs 56 crore has been proposed for fixing potholes during rainy season. This proposal, however, hasn’t gone down too well with the corporators in the opposition, who have raised serious doubts over allocation of extra funds. In fact, they had expected the extra expenses to come down this year.
In the last two years, 2011 and 2010, the BMC had allocated Rs 40 crore to fix potholes. However, during both these years, the budget overshot by an astounding Rs 17 crore and Rs 18 crore respectively. Hence, for the current year, the civic body has decided to keep aside Rs 56 crore to carry out repair works during monsoon.
“If the BMC is already spending Rs 900 crore on reconstructing new roads, then expenses on repairing pothole should come down,” said Dnyaraj Nikam, opposition leader, Congress. Sandeep Deshpande, an MNS corporator from Dadar, said, “If the administration has decided to reconstruct bad roads, then taxpayers deserve good roads.”
When contacted, Ravindra Ghodke, chief engineer of Road department, refused to comment. Rahul Shewale, chairperson of the standing committee, said, “The ongoing road repair works and fixing potholes are two separate issues and should not be mixed.”
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The civic body has set aside Rs 570 crore for repair works of 161 major roads and another Rs 363 crore for 544 minor roads that are less than 30-feet-wide. To complete this work, the Road department has been given a deadline of May 31.