BMC yet to respond to over 50% of complaints about `bad patches’

Over 50% of the complaints received by the BMC on `bad patches’ from July 1-31 are yet to be attended to, admits a BMC report. `Bad patch’ is the civic body’s new name for potholes.

Last month, the BMC received 653 complaints of which only around 297 complaints were attended to. In some wards, none of the complaints received by the BMC have been attended to, like R-South (Kandivli, Charkop) which had 45 complaints, R-Central (Borivli, Gorai) with 15 and G-North (Dadar) which received 13 complaints.

It may be recollected that prior to the monsoon this year, the BMC had taken up road repairs under two categories, `Priority 1′ and `Priority 2′. Resurfacing of 110 bad patches was done under Priority 1 while 248 resurfacing works were taken up under Priority 2, of roads which had uneven patches.

However, Ravi Raja, opposition leader in the BMC, said he recently inspected a few roads at Ghatkopar and found those repaired under the BMC’s Priority 2 category too have developed craters. “In Ghatkopar (E), one of the roads which were repaired under Priority 2, was in a bad shape. This is questionable as it has not even rained so much so far for the road’s condition to deteriorate,” said Raja.

Meanwhile Milind Mhaske, project director of Praja, an NGO, said there is no effective mechanism available to citizens to complain about potholes in their locality. “The mobile application which was started especially for citizens to report potholes was abruptly discontinued. Since then, there has not been anything effective where citizens can complain about craters. The existing MCGM 24×7 helpline which is to be used by citizens to complain is not very effective,” said Mhaske.

A BMC official from the roads department said most of the complaints they received were through WhatsApp. “Road engineers in every ward have been given special numbers where citizens can send complaints on potholes,” said the official.

Khar resident Zoru Bathena, said 10th road in Khar, whose repairs were undertaken by the BMC under Priority 2, is already in a bad shape. “The road was repaired a few days before the onset of the monsoon this year. But it is already showing signs of deterioration. Another road in Khar which was repaired is also in similar shape,” said Bathena.

The BMC claimed this year it got imported mixture to fill potholes on Mumbai roads, from countries like Israel and Austria. These patented mixtures are said to last even during heavy rains and heavy traffic movement. It was first used for filling craters at Dadar’s Rajabade Chowk and the road opposite the civic headquarters in Fort.