Sion-Panvel highway faced crippling traffic due to heavy rain on Saturday morning, but for Mumbaikars this is hardly an uncommon sight. What they were amused to see though was that the traffic cops took it upon themselves to fix potholes on the streets.
Neither the public welfare department (PWD) nor the toll authorities were bothered about the abysmal state of the road and the traffic congestion it was causing. Surprisingly, the Navi Mumbai Traffic Department stepped in to fix these potholes and made sure traffic flow was smooth.
“They decided to do something after traffic remained blocked near Kharghar for over three hours on Saturday morning. There have been severe traffic snarls on both Panvel and Mumbai side of the highway, near Koprabridge in Kharghar because of the potholes,” says Pravin Pandey, an assistant police inspector from Kharghar traffic unit told Hindustan Times, adding, “The concrete pieces had been left on the divider after the road was repaired last year, so we asked our officials to fill up the potholes with them.”
The one-kilometre stretch was temporarily repaired by using concrete pieces and rubber leftovers because PWD was unable to carry out asphalt patchwork due to continuous rains. “We are repairing the road in parts. We will continue with the work until the monsoon is over,” a PWD official told the newspaper.
“This road was repaired on war-footing during the last October FIFA World Cup event to show the world that PWD is prompt in maintaining smooth roads which fell flat with a few spells of rain,” The Times of India quoted activist Deepak Singh, an activist, as saying.
The work done by the traffic cops to decongest and relieve the motorists deserves appreciation. However, the longevity of the repair work is still questionable. It’s hardly news that Mumbai falls apart every monsoon and the fact that these roads are periodically repaired with taxpayers’ money but still fall into disrepair shows the true state of affairs.
(Written by Karanpreet Singh)