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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

In Delhi, there's a colony of bad roads

Neelam Pandey and Hamari Jamatia, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 13, 2013
First Published: 00:04 IST(13/3/2013) | Last Updated: 02:01 IST(13/3/2013)

Nearly a year has passed since the civic elections. A year has also passed when many roads were relaid and tidied up, albeit in a hurry. That hurry has now translated into potholes.

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But now that polls are again round the corner - this time for the Delhi assembly - most of these potholes are likely to be covered up again.

But what is noteworthy is that colony roads - the lifelines of residential areas - are always left out. One reason can be that these roads do not cater to heavy traffic. Yet, their importance to residents cannot be under-estimated.

Residents are now planning to use the upcoming polls as an opportunity to get these roads repaired. To ensure that the work is not shoddy, they want the agencies to start repairing them now.

Back lanes ignored
The back lanes of many colonies are even worse off than colony roads. Most of them haven't been relaid for decades.

Ideal time for repair
Summer is the ideal time for any road construction work as rain and moisture are not in sight. Experts say monsoon is the worst possible time to lay roads as the gravel is unable to hold the bitumen and roads get damaged easily.

"Construction of roads has a simple rule: Don't carry out black topping of roads on wet surfaces," said SM Sarin, former director, Central Road Research Institute.

Separate the funds
The civic agencies admit that there's no separate fund for these roads. But they are now planning to make amends. "Colony road maintenance funds will be hiked. We will also maintain them regularly," added the official.

Involve RWAs
Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) are also ready to do their bit. Civic agencies are plagued by staff crunch, which means there's no one to identify bad roads. This is where RWAs can step in.

They can furnish a list of poor roads in their colonies, on which work can be taken up on a priority basis. "The civic agencies should involve the RWAs in identifying bad roads as they know the area best," said Pankaj Aggarwal of Safdarjung Enclave RWA.

Use technology
There are a number of pothole-filling vehicles available, which use up less time and address the problem of shortage of manpower. The south corporation is planning to hire four such machines.

How Delhi measures up | List of broken roads | Way forward


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