Mumbai, July 16: Days after damaged roads in Mumbai claimed five lives, Maharashtra PWD minister Chandrakant Patil said that pothole-ridden roads cannot be entirely blamed for accidents.
Speaking to media in Sangli on Sunday, Patil stated “When you talk about a death in such an accident, you forget that five lakh other people have traveled on the same road. You can not put the entire blame on the (condition of) roads alone”.
Reacting to criticism over the bad roads on social media, the Minister said “People have a habit of changing their opinions constantly. They will like something for a while and soon pass a negative remark (on the same issue).”
Meanwhile, the Congress described the minister’s statement as insensitive.
Mr Patil was questioning people’s view of roads, but he will understand what people can do after elections, said state Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant.
“Government is not expected to run away by raising doubts about accident deaths. We condemn the minister for his insensitive comment,” he tweeted.
However later, justifying his remark on Monday the Maharashtra Minister said “I did not mean to hurt anyone’s sentiments, I had made a general statement”.
In the last two weeks, five people lost their lives because of the bad condition of the roads.
Pothole-ridden roads claimed four lives in Kalyan area, while another death was reported from Navi Mumbai.
In all these accidents, victims lost balance and fell after their two-wheelers hit a pothole.
As incessant rains for the last few days battered Mumbai roads, the Congress on July 12 launched a campaign to count potholes in the city.
Lashing out at the ruling government, Congress President Sanjay Nirupam had said: “Mumbai is badly affected by the flood. People from Shiv Sena and BJP are nowhere to be seen. So we started this campaign to count potholes and send pictures to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corp (BMC)”.