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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Poor roads choke city, expose MC failure

Sanjeev Bhalla , Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, October 07, 2013
First Published: 20:24 IST(7/10/2013) | Last Updated: 20:26 IST(7/10/2013)

 Shortage of funds and incessant rain were some of the reasons municipal corporation (MC) authorities were taking refuge in when questioned about poor roads.

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The MC had got RS 25-crore loan for development projects from Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO) in September, but used the money to clear the past debt instead.

A visit across the city exposes pot-holed roads crying for immediate attention. On the Guru Nanak Pura road, where Jalandhar central MLA Manoranjan Kalia and MC mayor Sunil Jyoti had laid the foundation stone of one of the abandoned roads on October 2, no work had been started.

"To me, a bicycle ride on such poor roads is similar to that of a camel ride," said Deepak Vashisht, a local resident.

The roads around bus stand, Transport Nagar, Maqsudan Road, Basti Bawa Khel on Kapurthala Road, Ladowali Road, BSF Chowk, PAP Chowk, Nakodar Chowk, Adarsh Chowk, Paragpur road and Master Gurbanta Singh Marg besides those in Bastiat area bring to fore the "apathetic attitude" of the MC.
"Only foundation stones are being laid in the name of development. The mayor comes with some VIPs, gets photographs clicked and the development is over," said Gurnam Singh, a Guru Nanak Pura resident.

Citing road safety, even the traffic police recently urged the MC to start resurfacing city roads on priority basis.

"It is lack of willpower and planning on the part of MC that poor roads continue to harass commuters. If such is the condition of roads in a city where all MLAs are from the ruling alliance, one can well imagine the situation of cities and towns of opposition parties' MLAs," said Sucheta Bajaj, a college lecturer.

Additional commissioner (B&R) Kulwinder Singh said: "We are short of funds. Today also I am in Chandigarh to seek funds from the directorate of local bodies with detailed developmental projects."

"Being in charge of the development of roads in the MC, I feel guilty while crossing city roads, but I am helpless due to non-availability of funds. We may start resurfacing roads within a month," he added.

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