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Bharat Khanna, Hindustan Times
Mansa, October 14, 2012
Various roads in this district are in a shambles, crying for repair. As a result, locals    have a tough time commuting on them.
When elections are around the corner, political leaders lay foundation stones to relay the roads, but soon forget to undertake the work.

Repeated representations to political leaders by locals to repair the roads have fallen on deaf ears. At times, funds for relaying the roads have been released to the district administration, but even that has failed to bring in the desired results.

The construction of highways and other roads is moving at a slow pace as the government is allegedly not releasing funds. It has compounded the problems of commuters.

Bad roads
The roads in Mansa town that have become a nuisance for the public are Mansa-Thoothianwali, Court Road to Choti Mansa, New Court Road-Khyala, Kot Lallu Link road, waterworks road to Jawaharke village and Nangal Kalan, Raman Cinema-Mansa Khurd road, Phaphade-Narinderpura link road and Grand Cinema road.

While the roads crying for repair at Bhikhi town in Mansa are the Purana Bazaar-Thana link road, Ram Singh Ramu Street, roads near the old post office, the road from the Ramlila ground to boys' school, and streets to the girls' school, that are waterlogged during rains.

Interlocking tiles in various streets for which MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal had laid the foundation have failed to come up.

The court road and the Tinkoni to Mansa Kainchian road, which were constructed before the assembly elections, are being repaired as they got damaged during monsoon.

Foundation stones
Lakhs of rupees were spent on laying the foundation stones for inauguration and repair of streets and roads in Mansa before the state assembly elections. Each such stone foundation had cost the state exchequer between Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 80,000, as per information received under the RTI Act.

The foundation stones were laid for upgrading and repair of Ramdittewala-Mansa Kainchiyan link road, and Sabji Mandi and Ram Bagh link roads by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal in December 2008 but these roads are crying for attention.

MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal had laid foundation stones in February 2011 for constructing the Khalsa school-Lalluana road, Chugli Ghar to Musa Chungi road, Civil Hospital to waterworks bridge road, women police station-Chukerian railway crossing road, and a road from the gaushala to Nikko Devi school. But the work on them is still not complete.

Manjit Singh, Mansa executive engineer, buildings and roads department, said, "Around 45% construction on the Barnala-Sirsa road has been completed and the rest will be completed by March 31. The funds we had demanded are yet to come; only 25% of the sanctioned funds have been released."

Mansa MLA Prem Kumar Mittal said, "The state government had approved a grant of Rs. 4.52 crore for Bhikhi town and Rs. 1.95 crore for Mansa. A proposal of Rs. 12 crore has been sent to the government for improvement of roads in the district."

He said, "The state government has already given Rs. 85 crore to Mansa for development and construction of infrastructure, including streetlights, roads, sewerage and sanitation, but unfortunately the amount was misused and the vigilance is inquiring into the matter. The development work, including the construction of roads, including Thoothianwali road, will start in December and the results could be seen from January.