It may sound bizarre but the authorities in Ghaziabad will spend Rs 24 crore on building a stretch of the Bhopra-Loni road — starting from the Delhi border not far from Dilshad Garden in east Delhi — on which Rs 13 crore had already been spent just three years back.
The project was first initiated in 2008-09 for strengthening and widening a 7.1-km stretch of the arterial road that goes to Loni. The road collapsed in patches within months but no inquiry has been ordered as yet.
Now a fresh project has been planned with an investment of around R24 crore without finding out why the road collapsed in months.
The road is in a bad shape, full of puddles and potholes. Road development has become an important agenda for residents in the upcoming UP Assembly elections.
“The road started showing signs of deterioration from the day it was constructed. We were told it would be set right. We feel we live in some remote area hundreds of km away from Delhi,” said Anil Chaudhary, a showroom owner in Loni.
The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) had awarded the R13-crore contract to a contractor in 2008-09. The authority's current chief engineer, RK Singh, said a payment of around R11 crore was released.
"We have put up the remaining payment on hold. It came to our knowledge that major road patches collapsed within three months of its construction. We are studying the entire episode," Singh said.
Sources say GDA officials are now under tremendous pressure to clear the remaining payment. GDA vice-chairman Narendra Kumar Chaudhary said some maintenance was done at a later stage but "no inquiry have been ordered as yet".
The road originally belonged to state Public Works Department (PWD), which transferred it to the GDA for development.
Currently, the PWD is going ahead with another R48.82-crore road project, which includes reconstruction of the 7.1 km stretch and paving extra 2km at a cost of around R24 crore.
"Any probe will have to be initiated by the GDA. For our recent project, we have again got the road transferred to our department and are working on it," says DC Vashisth, executive engineer UP PWD (construction division II).
The PWD intends to complete the project by 2013.