The city’s potholed roads continue to pose a serious hazard for vehicle drivers as well as those on foot, according to a study conducted recently by the School of Public Health at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research.
The preliminary findings of the study indicated that almost all streets in the city’s sectors as well as in rural areas had yet to undergo a facelift. Moreover, sidewalks provided in rural areas are only partly usable by pedestrians due to rampant encroachments. Among the city’s internal roads, most of the sidewalks provided have been rendered unusable due to parked vehicles and other obstructions like trees, electricity poles and uneven manhole covers.
The initial findings of the study observed that the surface condition of 22 per cent of major roads and 11 per cent of internal roads is bad. Similarly, 25 per cent of roads in the rural areas had erosions and potholes. However, streetlights were satisfactory in 60 per cent of the road stretches. Of the remaining road stretches, 15 per cent had nonfunctional lights. And, in 10% of road stretches lights are partly hidden by trees.
Amarjeet Singh, a professor at the School of Public Health, said: “The main aim of conducting the study was to ascertain accident prone areas in the city. Potholed roads, nonfunctional streetlights and rampant encroachments were the major concerns. The study will be concluded shortly.”
When asked about the problems, Mukesh Anand, chief engineer at the municipal corporation, said: “In keeping with the norms we’ve been conducting repairs of roads in the city every five years. In urgent cases we carry out repair work within time. Tenders for repair and construction of new roads will be floated shortly. However, the condition of roads in the city is much better than that in other cities”.
Meanwhile, MC councillor Gurcharan Dass Kala said: “Residents of the Modern Housing Complex in Manimajra have been facing problems due to the poor condition of roads. I’ve raised the issue at almost every house meeting but to no avail. Due to potholed roads there is an ever present risk of vehicular accidents”.
The worst affected areas include Indira Colony, Ramdarbar, Bapudham and Sectors 40, 41, 45, 48, 49 and 50.