Mumbai: Trolled BMC says you can fill potholes

Updated: Aug 28, 2019, 07:30 IST | Anamika Gharat | Mumbai

Two days after saying it was illegal for citizens to fill craters on their own, public backlash forces civic body to tone down stance

Some fed up youngsters in Parel had filled up 10 potholes on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road a week ago. File pic
Some fed up youngsters in Parel had filled up 10 potholes on Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road a week ago. File pic

Realising it had dug its own pothole, so to speak, the BMC on Tuesday sobered down its almost threat to citizens who voluntarily fill them up. After receiving a barrage of outraged responses to the tweet that said filling potholes by citizens was illegal, the civic body came out with a new statement saying they welcomed citizens to work along with BMC engineers to fill potholes. » P03
Over the past one year, mid-day has consistently reported on citizens' demand for allowing gardens to stay open for longer hours. The BMC too finally agreed and is now even considering keeping some gardens open round the clock. Other aspects regarding safety, etc too were discussed at Tuesday's meeting while the BMC frames its garden policy. 

They will have Road Volunteers, the tweet read. Ward officers will now hold meetings with citizen bodies to chalk out a plan in this regard. 

The civic body had a couple of days ago tweeted, "Dear Mumbaikars, always approach @mybmc to fix potholes. It is the legal and correct way. Avoid filling them on your own using debris. Using incorrect methods of filling potholes may lead to accidents. It is illegal to do so. Please don't take law in your hands."

The tweet was heavily trolled by Mumbaikars immediately after claiming that the BMC officials were not performing their jobs efficiently which is why citizens had to come forward.

Also Read: Mumbai: BMC's new traffic rule nets it Rs 84 lakh in 2 months

Mumbai potholesA
Citizens have been facing the pothole menace year after year in Mumbai. File pics

Potholes across roads in the city and suburbs have been a major cause of concern for commuters every monsoon. Instead of repairing them, the BMC was trying to threaten citizens trying to take an initiative to avoid accidents and mishaps, alleged citizens. The BMC has been spending almost R17,000 per pothole that is repaired in the city but not much seems to change. Thane saw a few deaths this monsoon owing to potholes, after which residents had protested against the apathy of civic authorities. Some also took it upon themselves to fill up these potholes but the BMC wasn't too impressed.

However, their new tweet acknowledges citizen's initiatives and invites them to help. "Acknowledging the good intent of civilians trying to fill potholes, Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has urged them to work as partners with MCGM engineers so that the correct engineering method can be followed. Ward officials shall be in touch with citizen groups," BMC tweeted early Tuesday.

This time around, some have welcomed the decision saying that BMC's road volunteers working on the lines of police mitra and traffic wardens might help.

Also Read: BMC to spend Rs 14 crore literally scraping roads

Mumbai potholes

Mixed response

Irfan Machhiwala, who had filled up some potholes in the past, said, "We welcome this initiative by Pardeshi. It will encourage more citizens to get directly associated with road engineers across wards in Mumbai. The BMC lacks monitoring on the ground level to address most issues. The volunteers will solve this issue," he said.

Also Read: Mumbai: If you fill potholes, it's illegal, BMC warns citizens

Some, however, were not too happy with the move. Nirmala Pinto, in a tweet, said, "That's not okay. The BMC needs to do its job. Citizens are stepping in only to ensure safety as the roads are in such a mess. Please don't pass on your work to citizens. Lay and repair the roads right and citizens won't need to put in temporary solutions then."

Civic Commissioner Praveen Pardesh remained unavailable for comment.

tweet talk

@prashant_m_m:

'What a response.. first book the residents as they did what you didn't and still asking them to work with the engineers.. Own your responsibility and fix these basic things.. Your budget is similar to that of London'

@aroorprashanth:

So BMC would have gaping potholes rather than badly filled ones. You must acknowledge citizens don't enjoy filling potholes. They are just filling the vacuum left by BMC. Mumbai is a world-class city. We need a world-class BMC. Please step up!

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