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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

City roundabouts cry for maintenance

Mehakdeep Grewal, Hindustan Times  PATIALA, September 07, 2013
First Published: 01:07 IST(7/9/2013) | Last Updated: 01:09 IST(7/9/2013)

Roundabouts in the royal city have been crying for maintenance, as the Patiala Municipal Corporation is apathetic towards their preservation.

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Civic body's efforts to find any contractor for regular upkeep of these roundabouts have failed miserably, despite the fact that the applications were invited on free basis for one-year lease.

Sources said the advertisement for applications under build-operate transfer (BOT) basis was published on April 28. However, for more than 14 roundabouts only four applications were received for maintenance of seven roundabouts which include the roundabouts near YPS, in Model Town, Leela Bhawan,Choti Baradari, Gurudwara Dukhniwaran and Mall road.

Contractors and agencies namely sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), Nabha, Poonamdeep Kaur, Bhushan properties, Savi enterprises and Fluent Academy were the applicants.

The civic authorities blamed lack of interest of city residents and industry houses for the poor conditions of the city roundabouts. Authorities said last year, the contractors had failed to look after the roundabouts and due to their negligence applications had to be invited again.

Landscape officer Dalip Kumar said despite MC's repeated attempts of inviting applications hardly any response was generated.

"Unlike here, in other cities of Punjab such as Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar there is no dearth of applications," Kumar said.

He added that the agencies only have to spend on the maintenance of the roundabouts. Interestingly there was no penalty on the agencies that fail to maintain the roundabouts and only after a year their contract is cancelled, he said.

Corporation superintendent of engineer (SE) MM Syal said in October applications would be invited again.

Syal added, "We don't expect better response as we have already approached all the known commercial establishments in the city but none of them has shown any interest."

While the corporation and agencies remain at odds with each other the city's face continues to remain ugly and MC's goal to give the city a makeover remains a utopia.

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