The call centre gets around 50 to 60 calls on an average daily, but has started to record 90 calls per day after recent showers.
“Most of these calls come from eastern parts of the city, including Ahmednagar Road and Kondhwa areas. We forwarded the complaints to local ward offices for action,” said a senior official of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
Meanwhile, citizens and activists said rampant digging after a road is built is the key reason for the damage. Many roads that are under the defect liability period (DLP) are dug up for different reasons. It includes laying of service lines and internet and telephone cables. Poor coordination between different departments – road, water supply and electrical – was at the heart of this problem.
“Some civic officials have vested interests in the construction of poor quality roads. They are hand-in-glove with municipal contractors,” said Vijay Kumbhar of Surajya Sangharsh Samiti, a citizens group.
“Civic officials ignore substandard works. They have a nexus with local politicians and contractors,” said Gauri Kulkarni, a resident of Kothrud. Citizen activist Sanjay Shitole said bad roads not only cause problems like traffic jams, but are life-threatening. “They become accident-prone and can lead to serious mishaps as well as loss of lives.”
Along with activists, experts have always blamed civic officials for not following the Indian Road Congress norms. Roads are repaired hurriedly, especially during the rainy season, because civic officials want to throw open the road to traffic quickly. Most repairs are carried out without proper techniques, they added.
PMC officials said they have taken action against road contactors who have not followed norms while building and maintaining the roads.
“Actions such as penalising and blacklisting them have been taken in the past. Any contractor found doing substandard work will be subjected to action as per law,” said V G Kulkarni, head of PMC’s road department.
The civic administration had fined 33 contractors for poor quality work under the DLP last financial year. The roads were filled with potholes even during the guarantee period. Around Rs 80 lakh was charged as a fine. Action was also taken against civic officials responsible. As many as 23 engineers were fined Rs 15,000 each for not monitoring road works properly.