Mumbai: Man flags 13 potholes, BMC fixes just one

Published: Nov 12, 2019, 07:41 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

Civic body says it is not responsible for the remaining 12; complainant asks why govt agencies can’t co-ordinate instead of making citizens run around

A pothole near Metro pillar no. P63 in Malad, a picture of which was sent by Utsav Joshi. Pic/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi
A pothole near Metro pillar no. P63 in Malad, a picture of which was sent by Utsav Joshi. Pic/ Sayyed Sameer Abedi

BMC's strengths as a recent example from its much-touted ‘pothole pictures’ campaign proves. When Malad resident, Utsav Joshi, complained about 13 potholes with their pictures on November 4 and 5, only one got repaired.

The reason given was not all potholes came under BMC’s jurisdiction. Joshi is irked with BMC’s response and said government agencies need to coordinate and fix problems instead of passing the buck and making citizens run from pillar to post.

An uneven stretch of road seen on the WEH in Malad. PIC/SAYYED SAMEER ABEDI
An uneven stretch of road seen on the WEH in Malad. PIC/SAYYED SAMEER ABEDI

Joshi regularly travels via road between Andheri and Malad and like many other commuters, is fed up of traffic jams and uneven stretches on the highway. So when the BMC introduced its challenge to Mumbaikars, promising to repair potholes within 24 hours based on complaints in the form of pictures, Joshi participated to raise the issue of the pothole-filled roads.

On November 4, he posted the picture of a pothole near Ramesh Hotel in Kurar Village, Malad East. “I submitted the picture, numbered 2999 on BMC’s Fixit app. This pothole was fixed by the BMC. Surprised and delighted by the result, I posted pictures of 12 other potholes on November 5 and was eagerly waiting for the result,” said Joshi.

But his delight was short-lived and his hopes fell flat as BMC replied on all pictures saying that the stretch of road is not maintained by them. The first five of the 12 potholes (numbered 3384, 3386, 3387, 3388 and 3390) were on a service road on the Western Express Highway (WEH) near Jijamata Colony. “Two of them are filled with loose paver blocks which can lead to accidents. But the BMC said the road comes under the Public Works Department’s (PWD) purview,” said Joshi.

A pothole in Goregaon on the WEH. PIC/SAYYED SAMEER ABEDIA pothole in Goregaon on the WEH. PIC/SAYYED SAMEER ABEDI

Next came potholes in Goregaon — the first one was near Metro pillar number 230 (pothole number 3392), which got a reply that the road comes under Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) jurisdiction. Then there were two near the HP petrol pump, (numbered 3393 and 3395), which the BMC said are under Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).

From Malad, Joshi posted four potholes’ pictures — one near metro pillar P63, two on the service road near Pushpa Park and one near Datta Mandir. These four too were under PWD’s jurisdiction, according to BMC. “None of the 12 potholes were fixed. What is our fault here? As citizens, we deserve good roads. We are already fed up of the traffic chaos. Who will take responsibility for mishaps caused by these problems?”

Pothole picture (number 3,398) from near Metro pillar P63 taken by Utsav Joshi

Pothole picture (number 3,398) from near Metro pillar P63 taken by Utsav Joshi

mid-day reached out to a senior official of the BMC regarding the matter, who said, “We try to fix potholes on the roads which are under BMC’s purview and for the others, notify the concerned authorities.”

“Monsoon has just ended. Filling potholes will be our first priority,” said Dilip Kawatkar, spokesperson for the MMRDA.

Pothole picture (number 3,388) from service road near Jijamata Nagar taken by Utsav JoshiPothole picture (number 3,388) from service road near Jijamata Nagar taken by Utsav Joshi

An interesting thing is that although the BMC informed Joshi that the service roads are managed by the PWD, Kawathkar said that they actually come under MMRDA’s purview. All service roads, along with the WEH, are with the MMRDA for maintenance, he said.

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