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Maharashtra agencies to blame for neglect of Mumbai roads: BMC

Wednesday, 13 August 2014 - 6:40am IST | Agency: dna

Bothered by criticism over the poor condition of roads in the city, the civic body says that various public agencies still own some of the roads and insist on maintaining them according to their own standards. If maintenance has to improve, all these agencies must follow a uniform policy, the civic body says.

In a proposal, signed by the municipal commissioner, to the state government, the BMC has said agencies like Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), Public Works Department (PWD), Western Railway, even the Army and Western Naval Command are responsible for construction or maintenance of some of the roads.

Many of these agencies have resisted handing over the roads to the BMC, and if the civic body has to repair them they should be brought under its jurisdiction. Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RCF) also owns some roads.

Just two agencies, the MIDC (in Andheri) and the Mumbai Port Trust (in south Mumbai) have handed over their roads to the BMC, but almost others have been reluctant to do so.

"Representatives of all these organisations say they are maintaining the roads as per their existing specifications," a senior civic official said.

Civic officials say that the agencies have been given access to the pothole tracking system on www.voiceofcitizen.com, the online facility where citizens and officials register the location of potholes along with photographs and videos and can track the status of repair work.

"The BMC routinely sends information to other agencies about potholes and bad patches on their roads gathered through the tracking system. But the agencies have not taken serious cognisance of this and as a result the number of cases of potholes keep piling up," the BMC has stated.

Civic officials believe that the agencies are reluctant to hand over the roads to the BMC as they do not want to lose on the revenues earned from advertising rights.

"So the BMC has recommended a formula for sharing revenues through advertising based on the NPV (net project value) of the work done as on date of transfer, or equal division of revenue between the BMC and the agency over the next 10 years, after which the full revenue will go to the BMC," the official explained.

Dilip Kawathkar, joint project director, MMRDA, refuted the claims of the civic officials saying, "We are willing to hand over our roads,
bridges and flyovers to the BMC. It is a good initiative."

Shyamal Mukherjee, principal secretary, public works department, said: "It is the decision of the government. In case the highways are transferred to the BMC, those employed for their upkeep will have to be placed somewhere."

SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner, said MMRDA had handed over many of its roads to the BMC, but he declined to comment about the others.

The road length with various agencies

BMC 1,941 km
MMRDA 41.25 km
Mumbai Port Trust 63 km
PWD 49 km

What does the BMC want?

The BMC has proposed that the state government direct all the agencies involved in construction and maintenance of roads to follow the guidelines of the Standing Technical Advisory Committee, appointed by the civic body, that deals with design, repair and maintenance as well as quality control and quality assurance during and after construction.

It has recommended taking over bridges and flyovers from agencies that are currently maintaining them.

It also wants to take over roads inside private layouts and open them to the public so that there is uniform distribution of traffic.

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