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IMC woefully short of funds to maintain roads

OF ALL the major roads in the City only the 12 black-topped stretches that were built as part of the Bond Road project are fit for motorised traffic.

india Updated: Oct 01, 2006 16:41 IST

OF ALL the major roads in the City only the 12 black-topped stretches that were built as part of the Bond Road project are fit for motorised traffic.

The Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC), with a budgetary allocation of Rs 32 crore in FY ‘07, is woefully short of road repair funds considering that it has to maintain 65 main roads spanning 200 kilometres and another 1800-odd kilometres of macadam roads located in various colonies.

These are among the findings of a white paper prepared by the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) on the state of the City’s roads.

With uncharacteristic frankness the document asserts that 16 kilometres of asphalted stretch constructed at 12 major traffic routes under the first phase of the Bond Road project was the only one that had escaped unscathed from the heavy rains.

The white paper also expresses concern at the Corporation’s lack of funds for carrying out post-monsoon road repair. A budgetary allocation of Rs 3 crore has been made for repairing cemented roads and an equal amount has been sanctioned for bitumen roads, Rs 3.5 crore has been earmarked for roads to be built with contributions from the corporators’ local area development (LAD) funds plus Rs 2.5 and Rs 2 crore, respectively, for constructing black topped roads in “poverty pockets” and in the 12-odd municipal zones.

Coupled with the Rs 6 crore fund for post-monsoon maintenance and Rs 12 crore earmarked as the civic body’s share for roads to be built through public participation the sum totals up to Rs 32 crore which is quite insufficient, as the IMC has to maintain road network spanning 2000 kilometres.

On the relative longevity of Bond Roads, of both cement and macadam variety, the white paper attributes this to the thickness of the base but points out that this leads to a sizeable increase in road building costs.

The cement roads built under the Bond scheme comprise a four inch thick base topped by a ten-inch thick concrete layer the cost for which works out to Rs 5 crore per kilometre.

Similarly, Bond roads topped with coal tar tot up a bill of Rs 3 crore per kilometre which is significantly higher than for those built by IMC approved contractors.

‘Contractors told to mend roads’
MAYOR UMA Shashi Sharma said it cannot be denied that a majority of the roads are in a bad shape. Contractors of 27 potholed roads still covered by the guarantee period have been directed to carry out repairs at their own cost. But it must be remembered that a bitumen recoat only lasts for about three years. We are still awaiting Rs 2.5 crore promised by the State Government for road repair and further works will be carried out once we get this money, she added.
Repairs begin

STARTING Monday, the IMC will embark on a Rs 2.10 crore zone-wise patchwork campaign to stitch together 79 roads disembowelled by the recent rains.

Although the campaign is to be launched formally only on Monday, repair work has already started at key stretches of road
including the Swadeshi Mill trisection-Chikmanglur square, Jail Road, Jawahar Marg, the stretch opposite Premsukh Talkies and around the Rajwada.

It will run concurrently with repair works carried out by nine contractors of roads still under the guarantee period who were recently slapped with notices by the IMC.