Bombay HC asks BMC chief, PWD secy for roadmap to repair 20 roads each with potholes

The Indian Express | 4 days ago | 23-09-2022 | 03:35 am

Bombay HC asks BMC chief, PWD secy for roadmap to repair 20 roads each with potholes

THE BOMBAY High Court Thursd-ay asked Brihanmumbai Municip-al Corporation (BMC) Commissio-ner Iqbal Singh Chahal and Secretary of state, Public Works Department (PWD), to identify and survey city’s 20 “most affected and bad roads” each under their purview and give a roadmap for issue of tenders to have them repaired. The court asked authorities to take further steps to repair potholes across city in a “phased manner with responsibility.”The court asked the two top officials to remain present during the hearing next week. A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Madhav J Jamdar was hearing a contempt petition filed by lawyer Ruju Thakker alleging that the civic authorities had failed to implement the High Court orders of February and April 2018 on suo motu (on its own) PIL, directing repair of potholes on all arterial roads in the city and a uniform mechanism to redress citizens’ grievances related to bad roads and potholes.Thakker said that there are over 20,000 potholes in Mumbai and citizens cannot always go to the corporation’s website and report them. She referred to a news report pertaining to a big crater near Chembur on Santacruz-Chembur Link Road (SCLR) and also said that the condition of Mumbai-Ahmedabad National Highway was worrisome, and same is causing deaths due to accidents.Representing BMC, senior advocate Anil Sakhare submitted that nearly 2,049 kilometres of major roads fall under the civic body and it has taken initiatives to concretise most of them. He added that 131.97 km of roads fall under the purview of PWD and other state agencies. Sakhare said Rs 50 lakh are allotted for filling of potholes to every ward in seven zones along with Rs 1.5 crore for preventive maintenance.Referring to photographs of potholes on SCLR, the bench said, “Other parts of the said road look like a carpet but there is one crater. This is bad workmanship. Why should the contractor who has been granted a contract not be pulled up? The BMC Commissio-ner has come to us during Covid-19 times (to give overview of pandemic conditions) on the administrative side and similarly, now we want to know what his plans are on the judicial side.”C J Datta took note of BMC’s submission that nearly 30,000 potholes were attended by various agencies and asked as to when the said roads were constructed. He said, “When I came here in 2020 (as CJ), we had not entertained a PIL regarding potholes and I had said the condition of Mumbai roads was much better than that of Kolkata roads. Over a period of two years, that has changed.”

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