BMC Be Made Single Planning Authority For Mumbai, 20 Worst Roads To Be Repaired In Next 3 Months: Municipal Commissioner To Bombay High Court
The BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal Friday suggested that the roads and bridges in Greater Mumbai owned by authorities such as MMRDA, MSRDC, PWD, MIDC, Railways and Port Trust should be handed over to the urban local body for regular maintenance.The submission was made before the Bombay High Court during the hearing of a case related to bad condition of roads in the state.Chahal told the...
The BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal Friday suggested that the roads and bridges in Greater Mumbai owned by authorities such as MMRDA, MSRDC, PWD, MIDC, Railways and Port Trust should be handed over to the urban local body for regular maintenance.
The submission was made before the Bombay High Court during the hearing of a case related to bad condition of roads in the state.
Chahal told the court that concretization of roads is the way to move forward as the same has a 30-years pothole-free guarantee. He gave a PowerPoint presentation detailing the causes of potholes; the preventative steps taken and suggestions for the government.
The Court had earlier asked Chahal to present a roadmap for repairing the 20 worst roads in Mumbai in the contempt plea filed by lawyer Ruju Thakker for non-compliance of court's orders regarding maintenance and repair of roads by the civic authorities.
Chahal informed the court that 125 km of roads, including 20 worst roads in Mumbai will be covered in asphalt carpet within three months. Further, all the roads will be concretized within three years.
"Within three years, every inch of lanes, by-lanes and roads will be made of concrete", Chahal said adding that tenders have already been floated for this.
"Contracting agencies will be directed to carry out Cement Concretization of worst affected on priority", according to the presentation.
In his presentation, Chahal suggested that the Urban Development Department should be directed to hand over the completed roads and bridges to BMC for regular maintenance along with advertisement rights to recover maintenance costs.
Chahal also informed the court that he has requested the State Government to make BMC the Single Planning Authority for Mumbai and its suburbs.
"Almost 20 months ago I wrote a letter to state government that all over the world countries have a Single Planning Authority. But we have eight which leads to issues", Chahal informed the bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and M. S. Karnik.
CJ Datta asked, "why shouldn't the roads be handed to you as a first step?"
Chahal replied that this can be done and will ensure a 'holistic and unified' development of the roads.
CJ Datta asked Government Pleader P. P. Kakade for the state if he can assure the court that Chahal's proposal will be considered at least in part. Kakade responded in the affirmative.
Chahal said that most pothole complaints are from roads owned by 15 other authorities such as MHADA, MMRDA, PwD etc. which own about 500 kms of roads.
The Court had also asked Secretary of Maharashtra PwD to appear. Sadashiv Salunkhe, PwD Secretary (Roads) informed the court that PwD conducts Annual Maintenance Programs for roads every year. Further, it fills the potholes with asphalt whenever there is a dry spell. He submitted a compilation of 20 worst roads in the state and steps to repair the same.
Petitioner Ruju Thakker said that a website named ichangemycity.com is a centralised grievance portal for pothole complaints for the state, but it hasn't been publicised by the authorities. She submitted that there have been seven deaths in the months of July and August 2022 due to bad roads in the Thane district.
Court said that it will keep monitoring the matter and asked all the parties to present status report every 2 months.
In his presentation, Chahal said that eight different grievance mechanisms including Twitter handle, dedicated mobile app, and WhatsApp chatbot for citizens to register pothole complaints.
The presentation showed that BMC has repaired 34287 out of 34392 potholes reported through various portals.