Mumbai footpaths need urgent attention. Every year there are a thousand cases where people have had mishaps while walking on broken, irregular, dug-up or tile-uprooted footpaths. People of all age groups, right from toddlers, to senior citizens are affected by such poorly maintained footpaths. The intensity of mishaps range from minor foot injuries to major back failures including slipped discs and partial paralysis of the body.
Corruption while undertaking footpath contracts is a major social disease. One such example is the area in and around Dadar West Station , ranging from S K bole road, Ranade Road, Bhavani Shankar Road, L J Road and others nearby, where the contractor has simply given a deaf ear to complaints of not using cement while revamping of footpaths with new tiles. He simply did not know what “cement” means. The only thing he did was blindly laying of new tiles on dug up footpath and spread sand over it to “temporarily” settle the tiles. In a span of 15 days, all the new tiles were uprooted and today ,almost after 6 + months of the renovation, each tile is a trap to people walking on the footpath.
Un-walkable footpaths are also a reason why the public at large prefers to walk on roads , causing greater traffic nuisance on the already congested roads.
Every citizen has the right to have a proper footpath to walk across. Also, the BMC is under an obligation to provide and maintain footpaths in sound condition for the public at large. Taxpayers money should not be flushed into corruption by allotting contracts of maintaining footpath to such corrupt contractors who don’t even feel the need to use cement for such purpose.
I’m sure every corner of my city is in a similar disrupted state as mine. Every Municipal ward of BMC needs to take immediate action and reinstate all footpaths into perfect-condition, suitable for pedestarians.
I am raising a petition in this regard so that the BMC lays down guidelines for contractors undertaking footpath renovation covering the following areas :
1 – Each contractor shall be allotted only a specific stretch of footpath and not the entire area
2 – The Construction site should compulsorily display clearly at both ends of the footpath, the details like contractor’s Name, Firm Name, Person in charge as a supervisor, Contact Number of office of the firm, Mobile Number of the Supervisor in charge, email address of the firm for mailing complaints and other communication, as well as the BMC ward representative who has jurisdiction to entertain complaints against the contractor.
3 – Minimum mandatory ratio of sand – cement mix should be laid down so that the quality of construction is maintained.
4 – The tiles to be used for laying on footpaths shall be approved by BMC after undertaking rigorous tests and passing through the ISI norms. Certification of such tiles by BMC should be made mandatory and certified under the hand of the BMC officer who has jurisdiction over the area.
5- A work completion certificate to be acknowledged by an independent architect after the work is completed to the satisfaction of the architect and the contractor to be paid only after receipt of the completion certificate.
6 – 6 months maintenance commitment to be a part of the contract wherein the contractor is duty bound to address any complaint relating to the footpath within 48 hours of receiving the complaint and disposal of the same to the satisfaction of the complainant and The BMC officer.
Hopefully the BMC acts to this petition at the earliest!
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