Mumbai: Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar visited Jarimari in Kurla and Subhash Nagar in Chembur to check the condition of roads on Monday and gave the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation a 10-day deadline to fill all potholes. However, the Opposition in the BMC came down heavily on failing to address the issue that has led several traffic jams and accidents across the city and the adjoining districts.
The BMC has been facing widespread criticism from citizens and the opposition parties on bad roads and potholes almost every year, especially during monsoon. The civic body has claimed to have filled over 43,000 potholes in the city since April this year.
Pednekar criticised the civic administration over the alleged delay and directed the officials concerned to speed up the repair work. “We understand that there can be potholes on the roads during heavy rains. But later it’s the responsibility of the civic administration to fix them when there is a dry spell.”
Pednekar added, “Even after appointing dedicated road engineers (REs) and contractors in all seven zones and spending funds at ward levels, it is wrong for these engineers to be given additional charge of other departments, like pothole filling.”
Pednekar has warned that she will order an inquiry in the matter. The mayor also directed the deputy municipal commissioner and chief engineer (roads) to investigate and submit a report.
This has led to a fresh tug-of-war between the BMC administration, the ruling party (Shiv Sena ) and the opposition. BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar said, “Looking at the Mayor’s reaction on potholes, it seems as if she has spotted them for the first time. She must take stock of the city roads more often. These gimmicks won’t work anymore.”
Calling Mayor’s pothole stock-taking visit a gimmick, BJP leader Bhalchandra Shirsat said, “The BMC says only 500 potholes are remaining to be filled. The Mayor has now woken up and started a gimmick of visits to fix the potholes. Hopefully, now we should get good roads before Navratri.”