While potholes still remain an eyesore in the city, the BMC claims to have fixed over 91 percent of “bad patches” on roads following complaints.
In a brief report placed before the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, the chief civic engineer (roads and traffic) said that from June 10-July 30, the department received 1,642 complaints of “bad patches” online, of which 1,497 have been addressed.
A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Riyaz Chagla directed the BMC as well as the state governmen t to submit within two weeks a detailed compliance report of various directions issued by the court on the issue of potholes. The court was hearing a PIL initiated by the HC itself, based on a representation sent to the then chief justice by a sitting judge of the Bombay HC in 2013.
Advocate Ruju Thakkar, who is one of the interveners in the case who had raised grievances regarding bad patches in the past, cited Mirror’s July 25 report on the BMC’s e-governance app — MCGM 24X7 — being an utter failure in resolving complaints about potholes. The court, however, asked her to wait for the BMC’s compliance report. “If there is a problem and still they claim that there are no issues, then we will take them to task,” said the bench.
The BMC’s brief report mentions the MCGM 24X7 app as one of the measures which can be used by a citizen to report grievances.
On Tuesday, Mirror exposed glitches with the BMC’s website —mcgm.gov.in — too. Many citizens have alleged that the website closes complaints about potholes without addressing them.
Advocate Jamshed Mistry, who has been appointed by the court as an amicus curiae in the case, cited a Supreme Court order of July 20 by a bench of Justices Madan Lokur and Deepak Gupta. The order was passed while hearing a case related to amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act, where the bench made certain observations on pothole deaths.
The bench had said, “It is a matter of common knowledge that there are a large number of deaths as a result of fatal accidents which occur due to potholes on the roads. This is particularly so in the city of Mumbai as well as Bengaluru.” The court had also said that the families of victims of pothole deaths should be entitled to compensation.
On Tuesday, the HC bench had said it is the state government’s “constitutional obligation” to ensure pothole-free roads and it is the bare minimum it can do for its citizens.