Mumbai must look beyond potholes issue, says Ajoy Mehta
Ajoy Mehta, the Commissioner of Municipal Corp of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) or BrihanMumbai Municipal Corp (BMC) was invited by the Mumbai Press Club to present his vision on making Mumbai a World Class City. Haven’t we heard this line for more than two decades? Is there any wonder that his vision came out practically only through the question and answers?
Almost immediately, after he began to talk, promptly he said that there is nothing more important to Mumbai than the Coastal Road. 
He also said that BMC cannot be sticking to only potholes issue and must look beyond. While most of the question hovered around punishing the defaulting contractors and tenders greeting ready for fresh works on road contracts, defaulting contractors will be criminally liable for poor quality of roads. He also said that MCGM had located some 350 chronic pothole locations and will be addressing them to target zero potholes in the coming years.
MCGM is now planning to recycle wastewater for gardening and flushing. The Municipal Corp is also planning four hospitals in the suburban Mumbai even as it is concentrating on providing primary treatment, Mr Mehta said.
He concurred when pointed out that with 95% of population walking on the roads, their safety and comfort was being compromised by keeping footpaths in appalled state. Until being pointed out that debris from public works encroached the footpath, he held the view that it was encroached by roadside vendors.
On the whole, the Municipal Commissioner had hardly placed his vision of making Mumbai into a global city.
(Sudhir Badami, an IIT Bombay graduate in Civil & Structural Engineering is a Transportation Analyst. He has extensively worked in planning and design of Civil and Structural Works including tower building structures, stacks and process columns as well as flexibility analysis of piping systems and challenging erection planning of structures and equipment. He was on Government of Maharashtra’s Steering Committee on BRTS for Mumbai and MMRDA’s Technical Advisory Committee on BRTS for Mumbai.)
Mrunal K. Asher
8 years ago
Very much disappointing comments! We can look beyond the road potholes if BMC is doing the adequate things to keep smooth roads with no potholes, adequate pavements for the common men to walk comfortably & safely with cleanliness around. Years after years, BMC has been failing on this count with wrong appointment of contracters and the money wasted. The Chief can't turn away his responsibility and talk like a typical politician! Loosing the respect...
Ramesh B Mhadlekar
8 years ago
Tomorrow he will say we should look beyond corruption .
Silloo Marker
8 years ago
If Municipal Commisioners would try to walk around the city, one small area at least once a week, they would soon know the ground realities. But IAS babus wouldn't risk getting their shoes soiled by stepping out of their AC vehicles and perhaps straight into a pile of shit, which is what we often face if we try to park in the commercial centre of Mumbai Meri Jaan. The coastal road is being touted as the solution to all ills but is actually being pushed by the big-builder lobby which is now focusing on the far suburbs to set up luxury condos. How else will the crorepatis buying those fancy homes travel fast enough to come to work in South Bombay? After all, election funding is largely done by the builders and they do want their pound of flesh. It is a win-win situation for the government, the BMC, private engineers who will get those huge contracts and the builders. Who cares about the environmental damage and the loss of livelihood of the small fisherman dependant on the coastal waters?
Mahesh Soneji
8 years ago
Sir, everyone, all Mumbai kar wish to certainly look beyond potholes but BMC unfortunately could not bring such fortunes to them. Trust and fervently hope, it will happen soon.
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