THE RAIN gods seem to be having a cruel joke at the Indore Municipal Corporation’s expense. No sooner does the civic body begin patching up roads disembowelled by the monsoon than the skies open up once again washing away the newly laid coal tar.
Turning what, to begin with, was a Herculean task into a Sisyphean endeavour. Ill-timed rains have sabotaged repair works on five occasions during the last month or so.
The last time in the run up to Anant Chaturdashi when an unexpected burst of rainfall washed away Mayor Dr Uma Shashi Sharma’s promise of filling up potholes to ensure a smooth ride for the procession taken out on the occasions.
The civic body then announced a fresh deadline, Dussehra, for road repair. It even identified 79 roads to be stitched up on a priority basis and duly embarked on a Rs 2.10 crore zone-wise patchwork campaign to begin today.
As if on cue, the skies opened up Saturday evening. This was followed by a fresh bout of rainfall in the afternoon and again in the evening.
“Patchwork was being carried on at several important stretches of road including the Swadeshi Mill trisection-Chikmanglur square, Jail Road, Jawahar Marg, Premsukh Talkies and around the Rajwada. Although roads repaired 2-3 days ago will remain relatively unaffected as the coal tar would have set the work done yesterday has gone entirely to waste”, revealed City Engineer, IMC, Hans Kumar Jain.
Jain admitted that there was “little chance” of roads being salvaged before Dussehra as announced by the civic body initially.
Adding to the Corporation’s woes are contractors assigned the task of filling potholes. “The intermittent rains have resulted in expenses far greater than normal as we have to carry out repair works at the same site 3-4 times.
But we will be paid only for one-time use of labour and machinery. So we have decided not to carry out further repair works until the Corporation hikes the price”, declared a contractor speaking on condition of anonymity.