Mumbai: BMC spends Rs 150 crore on road MMRDA wrecked

Dec 05, 2018, 13:30 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

Mumbai civic body still reconstructing 4.2-km stretch between Andheri East station and Sakinaka junction after it got road back post Metro I completion

Mumbai: BMC spends Rs 150 crore on road MMRDA wrecked
Because of the delay in repairs caused by MMRDA, said civic officials. Pics/Sameer Markande

The Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro may have been built years ago, but the city continues to pay for it. After wrecking the road along the stretch, the MMRDA handed it back to the BMC without bothering with repairs. Three years on, the civic body has already shelled out R150 crore to fix the road, while the Metro authority refuses to cover the losses.

Not only is the BMC bleeding money over the repairs, but it also has to wait for permission from the traffic department to continue the work. The civic body has spent R100 crore on the ongoing reconstruction of the 4.2-km stretch between Andheri station in the east to Sakinaka junction as a concrete road.

Since the MMRDA remained silent about the road repairs, the BMC had to begin the work with its own funds
Since the MMRDA remained silent about the road repairs, the BMC had to begin the work with its own funds

Another Rs 50 crore had to be pumped in to repair the drainage and sewerage lines — all damaged by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) during the construction of the Metro I. Further, minor repairs were carried out on JP Road the side-strips in Andheri West, but work is yet to be completed on the Ghatkopar end of the Andheri-Ghatkopar Link Road.

Long delay
If the MMRDA has just completed the repairs, it would not have taken so long, as the agency already had the traffic department's permission for the Metro project. But after ignoring years of requests from the BMC, the MMRDA merely handed the road back on an 'as is where is basis'. This meant the civic body had to apply and wait for fresh permission for the road repairs, which delayed the work even more. This is why citizens suffered bumpy rides on this stretch for years.

During Metro I's construction, the MMRDA damaged not just the road, but also the drainage and sewerage lines underneath
During Metro I's construction, the MMRDA damaged not just the road, but also the drainage and sewerage lines underneath

A senior civic official said, "We have been writing [to MMRDA] about this for many years, but have got absolutely no money from them in the last three years. Since the road was handed over to us on an 'as is where is' basis, we had to do the work with Corporation funds. We did try to negotiate and get them to agree to complete the repairs, but we are yet to get that assurance." VP Chithore, BMC's chief engineer of roads, said, "We are carrying out the repair work and the work is going smoothly." Dilip Kawathkar, MMRDA director, did not respond to mid-day's repeated requests for a comment.

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MMRDA silent
Pravin Chheda, an ex-corporator from Ghatkopar, said, "The BMC was to get over R70 crore from MMRDA for the road work, but till now there has been absolutely no revert from them.'

Will it happen again?
Civic officials now fear it'll be the same story with Metro 2A along Link Road. Once again, there is no clarity on who will repair the road, which will no doubt suffer some damage during the ongoing Metro work. BMC fears it may have to again scoop out another hefty amount for this purpose.

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