Just a round around Bhopal will make one realise that the roads have actually disappeared. All that is left is gust of dust clouds; several ditches filled with water and pockmarked routes.
Major road stretches from Ravindra Bhawan to Raj Bhavan, from police control room to Arera Hills, 6 number road and New Market to Mata Mandir are in ruins. Dug–up, pockmarked and dusty, commuting on these roads is a task for pedestrian and the road is full of gravels.
The upper layer of bitumen covering the road has vanished with rains compelling the commuters to cover their faces while travelling through these roads.
The muddy, murky and marshy roads can be found in old Bhopal where potholes and sludge cannot be avoided. Roads in Jinsi square,Subhash Nagar, kotra, Moti masjid, Jehangirabad, Shajanabad have turned into slush tracks. There is hardly any pathway left in areas like Professor Colony, Kohe-Fiza, Shivaji Nagar, Ashoka garden, Kolar and Old City.
Though roads of 74 Bungalows, VIP road, Airport road, Arera Colony, Gulmohar, and Char Imli where political fraternity and government officials live are still intact after continuous heavy showers and a flood-like situation in Bhopal. Road from Sarojini Naidu College to Char Imli is in perfect shape. Similarly, road from Durga Petrol Pump to Char Imli and even lanes in the areas where ministers live are still intact.
There are no signs of potholes and dust on these road stretches.
Residents of Bhopal also believe that better materials are used in VIP areas and the roads are also maintained in all these places whereas the areas where commoners live are often ignored.
“Repair of roads is a priority but we all know that there would be patchwork which will again erode with the spell of next heavy shower. The rains have exposed the double standards in constructing and maintain roads that run through posh and poor areas in the city,” said Rakesh Mittal.
Observers believe that post the rains; the air quality of state capital has highly degraded because of continuous dust clouds on every route.
“The authorities will keep passing the buck from BMC to contractors but no one will actually repair the road until they are completely worn off. I have asthma thus I am allergic to dust and many people like me who have similar dust allergies are facing breathing problems, throat infections and skin diseases because of these roads”, said Bharti Modi.
“Physical verification of roads will be done, at the earliest because we do realize that its roads which are in the worst conditions, after monsoons have wreaked a havoc in Bhopal,” said state urban administration and development minister Maya Singh while talking to HT. She also said the Bhopal Municipal Corporation was being penalised.
THE TWO SIDES
The Good: 74 Bungalows, VIP road, Airport road, Arera Colony, Gulmohar, and Char Imli where politicians and government officials stay. Road from Sarojini Naidu College to Char Imli and the road from Durga Petrol Pump to Char Imli where ministers live are still intact.
The Bad: Major road stretches from Ravindra Bhawan to Raj Bhavan, from police control room to Arera Hills, 6 number road and New Market to Mata Mandir are in ruins.