With monsoon around the corner, the muchtouted carpeting work of roads in Panchkula is moving at a snail’s pace.
Amid much fanfare, the carpeting work of roads was inaugurated by Panchkula legislator Gian Chand Gupta on March 23 in the presence of mayor Upinder Kaur and other elected members of the corporation. However, it has been more than two months, but the work allocated in the first phase is yet to see the light of day. Almost all roads of the city need repair and the carpeting is being done after a long gap of over a decade.
The civic body had sanctioned a budget of around Rs 35 crore for the work, of which three tenders worth around Rs 16 crore were allocated in the first phase. The officials’ claims of putting their best foot forward don’t hold water as all it takes is a visit to different sectors of the city to find out how fake these assertions are.
The situation of the roads in Industrial Area of Phase 1 and Phase 2 is worst in the city. The work of carpeting started on March 23, but so far only two roads have been carpeted. Similar is the condition of Sectors 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17 and others. A total of four contractors have been given the task and they have stopped work on couple of occasions after raising objections about non payment of partial dues and collections of samples by different agencies for quality check.
Interestingly, authorities seem to have not shown much intention of taking the corrective and immediate steps to expedite the work.
A senior official on the request of anonymity said the delay is result of the lack of coordination between the elected representatives and senior officials.
Lambasting the authorities concerned, Ravi Kant Swami, councillor of Industrial Area, said only about 20% work has been completed and officials have done nothing to fix accountability for the delay. Work will further be delayed as carpeting can’t be done during the monsoon season, he added.
Lilly Bawa, councillor of Sector 14, stated a random survey of the roads in different parts of the city shows a picture of neglect and apathy on part of the civic body as in most of the areas, the carpeting work hasn’t been completed even after two months. “People deserve better than this,”said Bawa.
After the work had commenced, a lot of hue and cry was raised over the poor quality material being used by the contractors and several complaints were made to the authorities regarding this. When contacted, MC commissioner SP Arora, while accepting the delay, said they are trying to speed up the work.