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WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR POTHOLES AND BAD ROADS EVEN AFTER CRORES ARE DRAINED ON ROADS?

roadsRoads in Navi Mumbai are still in a bad shape. Pot holes and craters mark roads despite huge investments by the civic body. Civic officials are busy washing off their hands by blaming it either on the downpour or other reasons. But the situation has deteriorated within a few days of the downpour. Where ever NMMC undertook surface repair, the slipshod work has been washed out in the shower making it a bumpy ride for citizens. On weekend exclusive tonight we try to find the answer for “Who Is Accountable for Potholes and Bar Road Even After Draining Crores in Road Work?” It’s not even been a month to monsoon and showers are exposing the shoddy work done by several NMMC road contractors. Like every year during monsoon, even this year the sub standard quality of work being done by contractors is exposed as many roads have given way to potholes – most of these roads being in the prime nodes of the city. Knowing that the system will never change, motorists across the city have braced themselves for potholes ridden nightmarish monsoon rides even this year. And even as citizens were voicing concern of an increase in accidents due to potholes, NMTV News spotted one happening right in front of us. A biker missed the water filled potholes and barely missed cars hitting him. Crores drained in the name of road work is all loot of public treasury. Navi Mumbai’s roads become pothole-ridden every monsoon despite Crores being spent on them. And it isn’t just inferior quality work but digging and re-digging of roads to make trenches too haunts most city roads. City Engineer Mohan Dagaonkar admits that there a lot of trenches made on city roads. Often re-digging of roads to make trenches is done within hours of making or repairing a road. It makes one wonder how negligent or apathetic is the civic engineering department. However, when we questioned City Engineer about the civic blunder of digging news constructed roads we were shocked to find out that the NMMC Engineering Dept is responsible for roads work but permission for digging or roads are issued at DMC levels. And these DMCs issue road digging permission without consulting the Engineering Dept. In other words, the NMMC Engineering Dept. only makes roads while other departments are in-charge of giving digging permission. This calls for a coordination dept to avoid such civic blunders. City Engineer Mohan Dagaonkar admits that there is a need for a coordination dept in NMMC. And its not like there have been no demands on part of the public representatives to set up a coordination dept. NMMC Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik has vehemently demanded that the administration set up a coordination, quality and vigilance department in every other meeting but to no avail. Reliable sources allege that this is because the corporators-contractors-officials nexus wanted continuous road repair work to be carried out for the obvious kickbacks from these work. The Chairman points out that even this year, they had appealed to the administration to complete road repair work till May 15 on a war footing but the administration failed to meet the deadline. What about roads that have developed potholes and craters due to sub standard work? Both the City Engineer and Standing Committee Chairman gave assurances of inspection of city roads and action against erring contractors. On the other hand Commissioner Vijay Nahata refuses to accept that except for a few main roads, most city roads are reeling deplorable conditions. While on the outside, citizens experience nightmarish rides on bad roads, inside NMMC, because of massive corruption and kickbacks from road repair works there is actually no official or corporator taking responsibility for continuous digging and bad roads in the city. Unless NMMC administration urgently sets up a coordination dept to stop the unplanned and uncoordinated never-ending digging of roads and makes contractors accountable for quality of work, pothole ridden roads will continue to cause great annoyance, discomfort and hindrances to normal movement and commuting for tax paying citizens of Navi Mumbai. When most road contracts in NMMC are awarded to corporators relatives and kins in guise of contractors, selfish gains and greed blinds the conscience of corporators who never take up the issue of bad roads across the city. This attitude of corporators helps officials to continue their dirty games of draining Crores of tax payers money in road words under the pretext of being inefficient and unaccountable. Zeba Warsia – NMTV News.

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