Mr Fadnavis, Mumbai continues to be crater city

If a week of downpour has not put you in the hole, the recent data on potholes across the city surely will. According to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) data, the city has received 837 pothole complaints in just a month’s time, with the number of grievances doubling in the past week.

This comes a day after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the “number of potholes in Mumbai has reduced drastically recently, from 14,455 in 2014-15 to 4,044 in 2017-18”. “In 2015-16, city roads had around 5,316 potholes, and in 2016-17 this number reduced to 4,478,” he said in the state assembly. Of the 837 complaints received between June 10 and July 10, BMC has attended to 67% or 564 of them. However, 281 potholes are yet to be attended by road engineers, including some more that BMC has itself spotted.

Vinod Chithore, chief engineer of roads department, said, “We have attended to most of the pothole complaints. The new material to fill the potholes have borne good results. So far, 293 metric tonnes of cold mix has been distributed in the wards to attend to the complaints.” James John, member of Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI), said, “The pothole condition this year has worsened. This is because of the authority’s lethargic attitude.”

Pointing to the abysmal condition of city roads, corporators slammed BMC in the standing committee on Wednesday, alleging that the number of potholes has not at all reduced and has instead, become worse. Ravi Raja, leader of opposition, said, “Despite several complaints, we do not receive immediate help from local ward officials for repairing the potholes. The ward officials take their own sweet time to respond and let the citizens face the music.”

Officials from the roads department said the pothole complaints have increased after the heavy showers in the past week. From June 10 to July 3, BMC received 473 complaints and in just seven days, the total number of complaints doubled to 837.

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