Published On : Wed, Aug 30th, 2017

Smart City muddle: NMC spots 48,217 potholes in 3 years and repairs, too

It would not be an excess if the Second Capital City of Nagpur or Orange City is called city of potholes. To prove the point aptly, it has come to the fore that the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) discovered a staggering 48,217 potholes on city streets in a period of over three years. For the sake of solace, the Hot Mix Plant of NMC repaired the potholes, a claim that can be disputed by keen watchers. The 48,217 potholes on the streets of the city which is being transformed into a Smart City soon throws light on the poor quality of road constructions.

The damning information was revealed by an RTI reply to a poser by activist Abhay Kolarkar.

48,217 potholes repaired in just 39 months means more than 1,236 potholes are repaired every month. The 48,217 potholes were discovered and repaired between January 1, 2014 and June 17, 2017. These include the highest 12,382 potholes repaired by utilising machinery from Hot Mix Plant in the year 2015.This number of potholes is based on complaints given by Corporators, office-bearers of NMC, and Assistant Municipal Commissioners.

However, the story of other side is that the number of potholes that remained to be repaired at the end of June 2017 is awful. The Hot Mix Department of NMC has replied that potholes crop on a routine and are repaired too. Hence, it is not possible to provide accurate information regarding number of potholes. In response to the RTI query by Kolarkar, NMC’s Hot Mix Department stated that of a total Rs 53 crore received for road repairs, an amount of Rs 21.60 crore was utilised to remove potholes on roads through Hot Mix Plant of NMC and jet-patcher machine.

Interestingly, Hot Mix Plant utilised Rs 7.15 crore on removing potholes only, out of Rs 22 crore released for the purpose of road repairs. Similarly, Rs 14.45 crore was utilised on repairs of potholes out of Rs 31 crore released for jet-patcher.

The potholes are repaired urgently as per the availability of machinery, material, and manpower, except in monsoon. The figures of potholes and repairs pertain only to Hot Mix Plant of NMC. Considering the fact that in many parts of the city, roads are looked after by different agencies, the tale could be different. Moreover, many potholes go “unnoticed” as no complaint is being lodged with the authorities concerned.