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Bombay High Court asks State to address city pothole issue

The Bombay high court on Wednesday said the Maharashtra government should take note of the poor condition of roads in the state and the failure on the part of the civic corporations and district councils to fix potholes. The court also directed the state to furnish copies of the report prepared by the two-judge committee to all parties within 48 hours.

A division bench of justices A.S. Oka and P.N. Deshmukh was hearing a suo motu public interest litigation on pothole-ridden roads and the increasing number of accidents because of them. While observing that the municipal corporations and local authorities had failed to address the issue despite various orders being passed by the court in the past, Justice Oka said, “The time has come for the state government to step in and start monitoring the issue. The state government is not powerless. If local authorities and bodies are not doing anything, then the state has powers to take action.”

The observations were made after perusing the report submitted by the committee consisting of justices K.R. Shriram and G.S. Kulkarni. The committee had held three meetings wherein all stake-holders and authorities had been invited to share their opinions, suggestions and problems they faced while ensuring pothole-free roads in their jurisdictions.

However, all parties complained that they had not received a copy of the report as a result of which they were unable to place their say on the matter. The court then directed the state to serve copies of the report to all parties within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, the BMC informed the court that it had received 239 pothole-related complaints till December 31, 2017, and had resolved 157 complaints. A court official told the bench that in rest of the state, 555 complaints were received, of which 477 were yet to be resolved.

The court then also directed the traffic police to give feedback to local authorities over potholes as they were aware of the spots.

The bench posted the matter for final hearing on January 19.

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