Mumbai: Tired of shoddy work, shop owner turns pothole fixer in Santacruz

Updated: Jul 31, 2019, 08:29 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Mulchand Parekh, who runs a marble shop at Santacruz, is using crushed bricks and construction debris to fill the potholes on a 200-metre stretch before the airport flyover, along with his workers

Mumbai: Tired of shoddy work, shop owner turns pothole fixer in Santacruz
Marble shop owner Mulchand Parekh along with three of his workers

The indifference of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) towards the gaping potholes on the city roads has left a Santacruz-based marble shop owner with no option but to fill them up with the help of three of his workers. In a bid to make a 200-metre stretch from the Hanuman road subway to the domestic airport flyover motorable and to reduce the traffic snarls that continue up to Jogeshwari, Mulchand Parekh is using crushed bricks and construction debris to fix the road temporarily.

The western express highway is an arterial road that connects the western suburbs with Mahim and the motorists, who take the route often, have been facing traffic jams since the beginning of monsoon. Though an MMRDA-appointed contractor has been filling and repairing the potholes whenever there is a dry spell, it has not helped much. Speaking to mid-day, Parekh said, "Every year potholes appear on the same stretch of the highway but the authorities concerned are yet to find a permanent solution to it. This also shows how serious they are. Even though the agency looking after it has changed from the Public Works Department to MMRDA, the situation remains the same."

Also Read: Mumbai: Soon, a brand new pothole-free JVLR

Fill the potholes on the western express highway, just before the domestic airport flyover. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Fill the potholes on the western express highway, just before the domestic airport flyover. Pic/Nimesh Dave

On Tuesday, mid-day found Parekh along with his workers filling the potholes on the 200-metre stretch before the domestic airport flyover. "There was a nice dry spell in between but MMRDA did not bother to repair the stretch. They fill the potholes on a temporary basis but that is not helpful. Looking at the traffic jam I decided to fill the potholes along with my workers. We are using construction debris from our godown. I know it's not a permanent solution but at least it will reduce traffic jams on the stretch." When contacted, MMRDA Joint Project Director, Dilip Kawatkar, said, "We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to motorists. Whenever there is a dry spell, the potholes will be repaired on priority."

Also Read: Mumbai covered in potholes, yet BMC can spot just 100!

Aarey's pothole pain

Meanwhile, the arterial Aarey Milk Colony road is also facing traffic snarls due to the potholes that have appeared on it. Alleging that the BMC was not properly maintaining the road, which starts at Goregaon and goes towards Powai and Marol, Congress worker Sunil Kumre said, "Time and again we have written to the Aarey CEO office about the poor condition of the internal roads, and to the BMC regarding the main road, but they are least bothered. At some places, the potholes are so big that they might pose a threat to bikers. The ongoing Metro work on JVLR already leads to traffic jams on the stretch, now the potholes are adding to it."

Also Read: BMC delays launch of potholes tracking app fearing complaints

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