Frustrated by the inaction of authorities in fixing a pothole-ridden road stretching from Aarey Market to Royal Palms, citizens in the area including seniors took matters into their own hands and initiated temporary road repair works. mid-day has previously reported on the bad condition of internal roads in Aarey Milk Colony, highlighting the issue. It may be noted that the main road in Aarey Milk Colony comes under the jurisdiction of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) while the 45-km-long internal roads come under the jurisdiction of the Aarey CEO office.
A major portion of the stretch of internal roads is in bad shape with potholes and uneven road surfaces due to which people living in 28 tribal hamlets and cattlefarm owners face a lot of inconvenience. Hundreds of residents and motorists staying at Royal Palms and Mayur Nagar have been complaining about the condition of these roads which have more than 200-300 potholes which pose a huge risk to commuters. The residents allege that there have been multiple instances of vehicle breakdowns and two-wheeler accidents along the stretch. Even cab and auto-rickshaw drivers refuse to ferry passengers going towards Royal Palms.
There have been multiple instances of vehicle breakdowns and two-wheeler accidents along the stretch
Sonal Ranade, a resident of Aarey said, “We senior citizens contributed an amount of Rs 5,500 and brought small stones and bricks to fill up the potholes. Today we covered a patch of 100 meters where we filled 6 deadly potholes and we plan to continue this activity for some days till all the potholes are filled.”
According to Adv. Satyam Ganji, the local residents had earlier filed a PIL with the Bombay High Court regarding the condition of the roads in Aarey, after which the court, on August 2, 2023, ordered that a committee be formed to look into the condition of roads in the vicinity. “The condition of these roads is so bad that in a disaster situation, emergency vehicles like ambulances and fire department vehicles are unable to reach residents residing in Aarey. Even auto-rickshaw and cab drivers refuse to ply. We request civic, high court and Mantralaya officials to visit and check on the facts we have mentioned,” Ganji said.
According to Ganji, the municipal corporation has failed to abide by the court orders and as a result, citizen have taken up the task to fill up the potholes at their own expense. “We have filed a contempt of court notice against the authorities for neglecting the court orders dated August 2,” he said.
Aarey Colony resident Rupesh Shukla said that some of the potholes are so deep that the bottom of cars end up scraping the road surface. “This has caused vehicles to break down on several occasions. The roads pose an even bigger threat to two-wheeler riders, especially during the monsoon, as water fills up in the potholes. The condition has worsened in the past six months,” he said.
According to Shukla, the issue has been ignored by the Public Works Department and the municipal corporation. “People can`t even walk on the roads, let alone drive. Even school buses refuse to ply or charge way too much to come into the area due to the condition of the roads.”
Day HC ordered committee be formed to tackle issue