Mumbai: Only two of four killer potholes filled in a year in Kalyan, Dombivli

Updated: Aug 20, 2019, 14:53 IST | Anamika Gharat

mid-day revisits four Kalyan-Dombivli spots where people were killed last monsoon to find that two remain in the same dangerous state

Mumbai: Only two of four killer potholes filled in a year in Kalyan, Dombivli
The stretch in Shivaji Chowk, Kalyan

Little has changed in Kalyan-Dombivli, a year after potholes caused the death of five people. Of the four spots where the deaths occurred, only two have been fixed, mid-day found out upon revisiting the areas.

The spot where two deaths occurred is a stretch in Shivaji Chowk, Kalyan. On June 3, 2018, five-year-old Aarav Athrale died while he was on his way home with his father and pregnant mother on a two-wheeler. The slippery and pothole-filled road caused the vehicle to slip, after which the rear wheels of a speeding tanker crushed Aarav to death.

Also Read: Thane residents gather in silence to poke holes in pothole-filling claims

Arav ATrale
The stretch in Shivaji Chowk, Kalyan claimed two lives last year, one ofwhich was Aarav Atharale, 5, who died in an accident caused by potholes

'Nothing will change'

Mahesh, Aarav's father, said, "I think nothing will change. Until we protested a week after my son's death, none of the authorities filled or levelled the roads. This year, the situation is the same and it is really sad to see that despite the deaths, the local municipal corporation and the MSRDC officials are least bothered in levelling these roads. They are wasting our money, energy, people and enjoying themselves by taking good salaries."

Also Read: Mumbai: Two-year-old dies in a freak pothole accident in Thane

Manisha Bhoir and Arun Mahajan
Manisha Bhoir and Arun Mahajan

The same spot also claimed the life of Manisha Bhoir, 40 on July 7, 2018. She was riding pillion with her neighbour on their bike, when a pothole caused the bike to jerk, after which she fell off it. A truck behind them dragged Bhoir for a few metres, after which she died.

Shrikant Pathare, Manisha's uncle, said, "All of us have been fighting to get the potholes filled but the way authority is working, we don't think they'll get filled this year too. All of us are in a helpless situation."

The second spot is the stretch from Patri pul to Kon village, where one person died last year and one this year. This road has been built by the MSRDC. While they have not taken up repairs on the road, the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) hasn't done anything to help matters either. Baliram Naik, a local rickshaw driver, said, "The road has been in a bad condition for the whole year, not just the monsoon. Last year, we also joined the protests because every day we used to see someone suffering in an accident due to the bad condition of the road. It is completely uneven, because of which so many bike riders end up slipping from their vehicle during the monsoon. Fortunately, no one has died this year; people have ended up with minor injuries. The road, including the flyover, is in a terrible state. It is troublesome for the traffic police too. Once the bridge towards the road is crossed, the stretch is terrible till the Kalyan-Bhiwandi phata.

Also Read: BMC spends over Rs 17,000 per pothole in Mumbai on repairs

Why use paver blocks?

Near Kon village, Asif Shaikh, a rickshaw driver died in July 2018, was dodging massive potholes when a truck collided with his rickshaw and
killed him.

This year, on August 9, one Arun Mahajan died on the same stretch at Patri pul while he was on his bike, after a speeding truck dashed into his vehicle, another bike and an autorickshaw.

Shivaji Chowk

While his family was unavailable for comment, other residents of the area shared the issues they've been facing on the stretch. Shop owner Deepak Thakkar from Kon village, who witnessed the accident last year, said, "The accident was so terrifying that to this day, I get scared upon seeing a truck pass by a rickshaw. The road had so many big potholes at the time. Nothing has changed. Authorities have put some paver blocks on that patch but the rest of the road is still in a bad condition."

Deepak Thakkar
Local Deepak Thakkar (right) said while paver blocks were used to repair some parts of this road near Kon village, while a major portion is bad 

potholes in Mumbai poll code:

Another shop owner, Mahesh Thakur, said, "There are no streetlights on this main road which connects to the Nashik highway. MSRDC is least bothered. Who uses paver blocks on the road? It is very difficult to drive or ride on this road. One will definitely face health issues. But one thing all of us realised is that political leaders, MPs, MLAs or any MSRDC or MMRDA official don't bother if someone dies because of potholes. It's very sad that we don't even get the basic facility of good roads.

Minor repairs have been carried out on Malang Road in Kalyan, but potholes, like this one, remain

Despite repeated attempts, Eknath Shinde, the cabinet minister of PWD (MSRDC) and Anil Gaikwad, chief engineer, MSRDC remained unavailable for comment.

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