For motorists travelling to Saharanpur or beyond from Yamunanagar via National Highway-73, the 10-km stretch joining the two towns is not only torturous, but also puts them at risk of getting stuck in long traffic jams which have become almost constant on the road in the past three years.
The stretch around the Yamunanagar power plant is especially dotted with deep potholes which cause traffic jams and damage vehicles, thanks to the lethargic bureaucracy and lack of political will, for this condition remains in spite of repeated representations by union minister for social justice and empowerment Kumari Selja, who is also member of parliament (MP) from Ambala constituency, comprising areas of Yamunanagar.
At her requests, union minister for transport, road and highways Oscar Fernandes had even inspected the stretch earlier this month, though district and state officials were not informed about the visit.
Refusing to be quoted, senior officials of the national highway wing of the state public works department (PWD NH wing), told HT that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had asked the PWD to repair the stretch before it started its four-laning work.
However, the two agencies took about three years to finally approve the estimates on the repairs, for which about Rs. 10 crore are said to have come to PWD recently, they disclosed.
Apart from the NH-73, long stretches on the Yamunanagar-Panchkula, Jind-Bhiwani, Rohtak-Sonepat and Dabwali-Sangria roads are also damaged. Interestingly, apart from Rohtak and Sonepat, other areas with dilapidated roads lie in the constituencies of either rival political parties or members of the anti-Hooda camp.
While state PWD minister Randeep Singh Surjewala could not be contacted, PWD principal secretary Sanjeev Kaushal said the state government had already allotted repair works for the said major district roads and state highways, which would be completed in the next three months. About the NH-73 stretch, he claimed that work had been allotted to the concessionaire, which would complete it in the next few months.