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Mumbai: Road work still off track

Updated on: 16 February,2023 08:15 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Prajakta Kasale |

BMC completed just 57 km of 265 km of roads which it took up in January 2022 despite tall claims to the Bombay High Court

Mumbai: Road work still off track

The speed of concretisation efforts in 2022 has not been higher than that of previous years. File pic

Despite the chief minister's promise to make Mumbai pothole-free in two years and the BMC’s claim last September that there would be no craters after concretising streets within two and a half years, the speed at which road work is unfolding tells another story. Of the 265 km of road work that was taken up last January, only 57 km of streets was concretised by the end of January 2023. 

Of 2,050 km roads in the city, 990 km are already concretised. The work to concretise 210 km of roads—265 km, including side strips—has started. The tendering process of 397 km has been completed and the process of the remaining 423 km will start soon. 

The speed of concretisation efforts in 2022 has not been higher than that of previous years. FILE PIC

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had promised Mumbaikars a pothole-free city in the next two years with the help of an ambitious plan to convert more than 1,000 km of city roads into concrete ones within two years.

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Of the road works taken 12 months ago, the corporation has completed only 20 per cent. The BMC issued a work order in January 2022 worth Rs 2,200 crore for the work of 265 km of roads. Out of it 57 km of roads were completed till January 31, 2023.

With regard to the remaining 208 km, traffic permission has been received for 104 km and work on this stretch is happening at various stages. Work hasn't started on the other 104 km.

The BMC finished concretising 166 km of roads, 57 km from last year, while the rest is spillover work, from 2022 to January 31, 2023. 

The speed of concretisation has not been higher than that of previous years. In 2021-22, the BMC finished concretising 196 km of roads. 

Ravi Raja, a former opposition leader in the BMC, said, “The ground reality is the exact opposite of what the BMC tries to portray. Work is going on at an extremely minimal speed. There are many reasons for the slow work. There isn’t any proper planning. The BMC started replacing utilities after the work was started. Even they will not get traffic NOCs to start work on so many roads simultaneously. Instead of making tall claims, they should have told the city that the work would take five years.”

The BMC claimed it had completed the work order process for 397 km of roads worth Rs 6,080 crore (excluding 18 per cent GST) and the tender process for approximately 450 km of roads was going on. 

The corporation made a budget provision of Rs 2,825 crore for various road works in 2023-24. The budget of roads for 2022-23 was Rs 3204 crore.

Rais Shaikh, former group leader of Samajwadi Party, said, “The BMC hasn’t taken the permission from traffic police for all roads which they started last year. Even the contractors have not accepted the work orders for the next batch of works worth Rs 7,000 crore. So it is far away from even starting. So talk of making all roads concrete is all in the air. The commissioner misled the CM and this is going to be a very big fiasco.”

Prabhakar Shinde, former group leader of BJP in BMC, said, “The administration does not face the citizens like corporators do. As there is no corporation, there is no power to push the administration to work fast. But the work needs to be on the fast track, which ultimately saves on the expenses of the civic body and taxpayers.” 

P Velarasu, additional commissioner of the BMC did not respond to calls and messages.

Total length of roads in km

Facts and figures

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