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MBMC 'digs' a fortune to spend crores on road repairs, potholes!

Monday, April 16, 2018
By Suresh Golani

At a time when the cash strapped Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) is staring at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for funds amounting Rs.100 crore for the construction of concrete roads, a startling revelation  has come to light.

The MBMC has spent a whopping Rs.100 crore in the last five years towards road repair works and to fix potholes that frequently resurface at almost all main and arterial roads of the city. However, officials attached to the public works department claimed that the major portion of the money spent towards road repairs and fixing potholes does not pinch the civic pocket.

“Although an average of 25 crore is spent towards road repairs, our actual spending in accordance to the earmarked budget is restricted to just one crore rupees per year, the rest comes from a string of utility agencies who dug up roads for laying piped gas, telecom, Internet and power supply cables,” clarified Executive Engineer Deepak Khambit.

The frequent change in technology by contractors ignoring factors like type of soil, temperature, rainfall, traffic situations and other environmental factors has been blamed for the poor quality of road repair works. Apart from pressing jet-patching machines, the contractors have revived the traditional concrete and bitumen laying process, after using cold mixes which was pegged to be the ideal solution to repair damaged and pockmarked roads in the twin-city.

Any agency that wants to dig roads has to first approach the PWD with a map of their utilities and details of digging to be undertaken, following payment of digging charges along with deposit, permission is granted. The MBMC is also under the scanner for re-building roads that are still under the defect liability period (DLP) mandating the concerned contractor to repaid and maintain pockmarked roads sans billing for the prescribed time frame. Thanks to the negligence of officials from the water supply department, the never ending underground sewage works continues to take a heavy toll of roads for the past more than five years.

Concrete toppings a distant dream!
The cash strapped MBMC is standing with a begging bowl before the MMRDA to procure Rs.100 crore to lay a concrete top on all major roads in the twin-city. The ambitious concrete road project, once completed, could put an end to the menace of potholes and broken roads. Roads with concrete toppings would increase their lifespan exponentially by up to 25 years.

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