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HC directs BMC to file affidavit on roads improvement progress

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Jun 29 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today sought to know from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) the reasons as to why effective measures had not been implemented to improve road conditions in the metropolis as recommended by the civic body's standing committee.

The High Court directed the BMC to file affidavits stating the reasons as to why the staff strength had not been increased, as recommended by the standing committee, for undertaking road development projects.

Three public interest litigations had been filed on different occasions by Dr Sandip Rane, Mr Keval Semlani and Mr Bhagwanji Rayani highlighting the poor condition of the roads. All these PILs came up for collective hearing before a division bench comprising justices R M Lodha and A S Bagga today.

The court directed the BMC additional commissioner to also provide reasons as to why the complete budget for road development for the year 2005-06 had not been utilised.

The court, earlier, was informed that the budget allotted for asphalt roads for the said year was Rs 219 crore while that for concrete roads was Rs 202 crore. For 2006-07, the budget allocation was Rs 317.48 crore for asphalt roads and Rs 349 crore for concrete roads.

The court further directed the BMC to submit details of the exact expenses incurred of the allotted budget for 2005-06 upto June 30, along with the plans for the subsequent year. The court further wanted to know from the BMC as to by when all the standing committee recommendations would be implemented.

The BMC has also been asked to provide reasons as to why a junior engineer for road supervision was not appointed for every ward as per an earlier order.

The BMC counsel told the court that some progress had been achieved in implementing the standing committee recommendations and few technical consultants for road supervision had already been appointed.

The court also said the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) should implement the recommendations that have been accepted by the BMC. But, the MMRDA counsel told the court that the MMRDA had its own system of managing the roads.

The court asked the MMRDA and other agencies like MHADA, MIDC, PWD, Dairy Development Authority, Mumbai Port Trust and Thane Municipal Corporation to file affidavits submitting reasons as to why they could not adopt the BMC's Standing Committee report for constructing and maintaining roads coming under their jurisdiction by July 19. The case will come up for further hearing on July 20.


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