The Millennium City is known for its world-class infrastructure. However, the deplorable condition of roads in Gurgaon tells a different story.
A majority of roads such as MG Road, Golf Course, Golf Course Extension, Sohna Road and other important stretches are potholed. These stretches developed cracks within a year of construction, causing inconvenience to commuters.
“These roads are the city’s lifeline but they are not re-carpeted well. The Haryana government will not upgrade roads until we take to the streets. Roads are repaired during election time or when some VIP is coming to the city,” said Vikas Gupta, resident Vatika City.
Experts say the roads in Gurgaon are poorly designed and built, besides they don’t match the standards of the Indian Road Congress.
The Indian Roads Congress (IRC) was set up by the Government of India in 1934. It is the premier body of highways engineers in India. The objective of the IRC is construction and maintenance of highways.
“The absence of drainage system on MG Road, Sohna Road and other stretches has complicated matters. Water stagnates after a spell of rainfall and damages roads,” said SM Akthar, professor at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
“The engineers should ensure that water does not damage roads and an effective drainage system is put into place. This will avoid stagnation of water on roads,” he added.
Manoj Tipnis, department head, L&T Infra (road and runways), said the surface (main carriageway) has also not been built well.
“The main carriageway should be built with a side slope so that water can be drained out. This is known as the geometric fault in surface designing as set by the IRC. But this does not happen in Gurgaon and water percolates through the bituminous material, damaging the road,” said Tipnis.
He said the material used by contractors to construct roads is of poor quality.
However, the authorities have pulled up contractors for using inferior quality material to construct roads.
Last year, SS Dhillon, financial commissioner-cum-principal secretary Haryana town and country planning department, suspended VK Ghai, former superintending engineer (SE-Huda) over the poor quality of material used to build the Palam Vihar road.
In September 2012, Haryana chief secretary PK Chaudhary warned Gurgaon engineers of suspension and penalty imposition on contractors if they used inferior quality road construction material.
Huda administrator Praveen Kumar in October 2012 also issued a warning to contractors if potholes surfaced on roads within a year of repair.
“We are trying our best to ensure good quality roads in Gurgaon,” said the Huda administrator.
Moreover, the government authorities neither have the latest technology for road repairs and nor do they have records of how much money is spent on maintenance.
Residents have time and again taken to the streets, held protests and raised slogans against the authorities concerned but to no avail. However, roads are repaired overnight and even relaid in case of a VIP visit. Due to multiplicity of departments in Gurgaon, officials indulge in blame game and wash their hands of when it comes to fixing responsibility. The city’s area jurisdiction has been divided into Huda sectors, privately-developed colonies, municipal areas (Old Gurgaon) and villages.