With elections round the corner, officials of the Patiala municipal corporation (MC) seem to have come out of their slumber and sped up developmental works, especially recarpeting of arterial roads.
Not just the MC, even officials of the Public Works Department (PWD) have swung into action for repairing and patching up potholes on various roads, for which the city residents were crying for months.
The MC has initiated the recarpeting works on roads in areas adjoining to Government Medical College, Press Road, Lahori Gate and areas near bus-stand.
In view of the water-logging problem, the cor poration, in consultation with Thapar Engineering College, has laid down a cemented concrete road in the lane adjoining to medical college and leading to Khalsa College.
MC officials said the work orders for these works were issued way back in December last and January, but the department had been waiting for a better weather conditions, as using bitumen concrete in the winter was not feasible.
Sources with the MC said according to the plan of the SAD-BJP-ruled civic body, the tenders were cleared and work orders were allotted much before the announcement of the model code of conduct.
“Now, the MC is implementing these projects, which includes repair of all leading roads, footpaths, sewerage works in various wards, beautification of parks and installation of street lights,” said sources.
H owever, leader of the opposition in MC Congress councillor Sanjeev Bittu said: “The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine is befooling the residents with re-carpeting works.”
“They hardly worked for the last seven years and ruined the city. Now with the election dates announced, they are re-carpeting the roads and laying sewerage to befool the people. This will not help the SAD-BJP combine in the election, as the people are miffed by misrule of the state government,”said Bittu.
“With their eyes on polls, the SAD-BJP combine is in hurry to show off their works to the people, and hence, allowing contractors to use inferior material and doing bitumen concrete carpeting on such roads where the problem of sewerage is yet be resolved. This will ultimately damage the roads in six months,” Bitto added.
Denying any link with the poll activities, MC commissioner PS Gill told Hindustan Times: “The work orders worth 12 crore were issued in January. No new tender was allotted after the model code of conduct came into force and only the previously passed orders are being executed.”
He said that as per rules the re-carpeting initiated after the mid of march and expected to be complete by the end of May.