iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Sanjeev Bhalla, Hindustan Times
Jalandhar, February 06, 2014
The desperate attempt of the municipal corporation (MC) to repair the city roads proving to be a  nightmare to the people here for over one year, got a major setback as no contractor responded to the tenders floated  for 54 roads of the city needing immediate resurfacing.

The last date of submitting  tenders was February 5. The MC had invited tenders for re-laying 161 roads in the city at an estimated cost of over Rs. 54 crore. The MC was depending on these developmental projects to seek votes from the people in the forthcoming  Lok Sabha elections.

The model code of conduct is also likely to be imposed by the end of February and the MC was in a hurry to allot work- orders at least before the implementation of the conduct so that, as a face-saving exercise, work could have been started before the elections.

The lack of response from contractors has put MC officials on toes to get all the formalities completed before the implementation of the model code.

The present tenure of Parliament is ending on May 31 and by June 1, the new Parliament is to be constituted and elections are likely to be conducted in six to seven phases. The Election Commission normally announces the election schedule nearly six weeks before the first day of elections.

HT enquiries revealed that the contractors refrained from all those roads on which the MC had imposed a condition of  maintaining them for three years before final bills are cleared.

In ward numbers 12, 32, 33, 50 and 53; reportedly no contractor offered a bid for different development works.

Earlier, the shortage of funds was the reason; then unprecedented rain, later cold weather in the region became the hindrance for surfacing roads and the residents have strong resentment against the MC officials on its failure to provide relief to the commuters. In previous two meetings of the house, councillors, from both ruling as well as opposition benches, raised voice  over the poor condition of roads.

The roads around the bus stand, Transport Nagar, Maqsudan Road, Basti Bawa Khel on the Kapurthala Road, Ladowali Road, BSF Chowk, PAP Chowk, Nakodar Chowk, Adarsh Chowk, Paragpur Road, Mai Hira Gate, around Jyoti Chowk, Master Gurbanta Singh Marg and several roads in the Bastiat area are in a pathetic condition.

Mayor Sunil Jyoti, when contacted, said, "In a day or two, we will plan to invite tenders on a short-term notice so that within time, we can complete all the formalities. In the meantime, we will also discuss the issues with contractors who avoided tenders so that they can actively bid for the next tenders."