The Bombay High Court, on September 25, 2018, said it was unfortunate that arterial roads and highways across Maharashtra continued to remain riddled with potholes year after year and asked why the state government did not spend even a portion of the money collected as toll, for repairing them. A bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre, made the observation while hearing a bunch of public interest litigations (PILs), highlighting the poor condition of some arterial roads in and around the city.
“It is unfortunate that the situation of roads and highways in and around Mumbai, has not improved in the least in the last 25 years. State authorities collect a handsome amount as toll, for use of some roads and expressways. Why don’t you (the state) use some of that money to repair the potholes and maintain the roads?” the bench said.
In April 2018, while hearing one of these pleas, another bench of the HC had held that a citizen had a fundamental right to have good roads and footpaths.
At that time, the court had directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and other state agencies, to maintain roads and footpaths in a good condition and repair potholes promptly. It had also directed the agencies to set up a grievance redressal mechanism, to tackle complaints about potholes and bad roads.
The bench led by justice More has now directed the BMC and the state, to submit a compilation of all the pleas on the issue of potholes and bad roads that are currently pending hearing in the HC. It has also asked the authorities to inform the court, of the steps taken to comply with its previous orders in each of these pleas. The bench is likely to hear all the pleas together next week.