Planning authority says it will be able to repair potholes that have cropped up all along Eastern and Western Express Highways only when rain abates
The Western Express Highway at the same time last year. Little has changed since then
Your pothole-ridden rides are definitely here to stay. Why, you ask? Well, the MMRDA has said that they will be unable to fix the potholes till the rains abate. This year, again, you will have to brace yourself to struggle for hours in traffic while soaking wet — both on the Eastern and Western Express Highways — as the monsoon is underway in full swing and the potholes are back, but the repair work won't take place till a dry spell hits again.
The MMRDA, which is now in charge of the two arterial roads after they were de-notified by the public works department and renamed Eastern and Western Urban Roads, explained that the delay can be attributed to a lack of response from contractors and the onset of the monsoon.
On the western end, potholes have started appearing again on the south-bound stretch between Borivli and Malad, opposite Samta Nagar police station.
Umesh Sawant, a resident of Kandivli West said, "God alone knows when motorists will get proper roads during the monsoon. Every year, the same old story repeats. This time, the ongoing Metro work on the highway is adding to an already messy situation with traffic. One hoped that after MMRDA took over the road from PWD, things would improve, but it seems motorists will have to face the problem of potholes during the monsoon again."
The situation on the eastern stretch is no different. Between Mulund and Priyadarshani Circle, after a week of rain, new potholes have already emerged. "Potholes have started occurring between these two spots and if the repair work is not done at the earliest, then more potholes will occur, leading to traffic chaos," said Mulund resident Chinamy Joshi.
Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, Pravin Darade, said, "The tenders that were invited for the repair and maintenance of Eastern and Western Urban Roads have received a positive response from the contractors. Whenever we get a dry spell, the potholes will be repaired on priority."
Meanwhile, an MMRDA source said, "The bidders did not come forward earlier because the stone quarries in Thane were closed after the March 30 ban by the National Green Tribunal. Due to that, there was a shortage of stones used to make roads and repair work and the contractors had to shell out extra to procure the material from Raigad and Palghar. Now, we have finalised the contractors, but repairs can begin only after the rain stops for a while."
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