Pune: With the arrival of South-West monsoon just a month away, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had set a deadline of May 31 to complete its pre-monsoon works. But if the civic body does not speed up, Puneites will have a bumpy ride this monsoon too. The officials have admitted that only 40 per cent of the work has been completed so far.
Last year’s monsoon had exposed PMC’s ill-preparedness, where most of the roads in the city had developed potholes. The then PMC commissioner Mahesh Pathak himself had to inspect the work, which was eventually carried out during monsoons.
In a rewind-replay situation, this year also the PMC is expected to complete resurfacing of 77 main roads of the city, repair of potholes, completing road digging work and cleaning of all the nullahs to avoid water logging all before May 31. A PMC official said, “This year, PMC has started the nullah-cleaning work much earlier, the where main focus in on culvert cleaning, drainage and storm-water drain cleaning. We have identified 20 spots in Sahakarnagar ward office and 10 spots in Bhavani Peth ward office, where nullah cleaning work is a priority.”
However, the work of repairing and resurfacing of various roads is going at a snail’s pace When asked, Pramod Nirbhavane, head of the road department of PMC, he said, “We have completed the work on JM Road and now we are carrying out work at busy streets such as Karve Road and Nehru Road. As these roads are flooded with traffic, we have to carry out the work only during night. Though at present, we have managed to complete 40 per cent of the work, we are increasing the pace of work, and are hopeful to complete remaining work before June.”
However, civic activists feel that the civic body has not learned any lesson from its previous experience. Vivek Velankar, president of Sajag Nagarik Manch, said, “The civic body should have completed its work by now. Last year also, they committed the same mistake and Puneites witnessed pothole-ridden roads across the city. This year also if rain hits the city early, we are likely to face the same situation like last year.”