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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

Chandigarh MC yet to utilise ₹15 crore granted for road repairs

cities Updated: Oct 23, 2019 00:54 IST

The Chandigarh municipal corporation is sitting on ₹15 crore grant released by the UT administration three weeks ago to assist it in completing its pending roadworks.

It is despite the fact that various stretches of roads in the city are in tatters and require immediate recarpeting.

Even contractors engaged by the civic body had written a letter to it a few days ago, stating that they are ready to complete their allotted works if they are paid on time and that they should not be held accountable for any delay.

However, there seems to be no urgency in getting the roads repaired despite the Sunday mishap that claimed a man’s life after his bike hit a pothole in Mauli Jagran. 

Sources said the MC prepared a list of 40 roads that are in the worst condition and could be taken up for repairs using the UT grant.

The list was submitted to the MC chief engineer last week, who sent it to MC commissioner KK Yadav’s office for final approval.

However, in what can be seen as a trust deficit between officers and engineers, Yadav directed all zonal commissioners to first visit the spots and verify whether the roads mentioned in the engineering department’s list are actually in a bad condition.

Yadav said he is likely to get the report on Wednesday, following which the works will begin.

However, engineers say the MC is left with not more than three to four weeks to lay fresh roads.

“We must show urgency. Otherwise things will deteriorate further,” said an official, who did not wish to be named. Laying of fresh roads has already been stopped at night as the temperature is not apt. The day’s temperature is still conducive, but the works will have to be stopped once it drops below 15°C. It will resume only in March.”

Former mayor Arun Sood said the MC must decide fast and recarpet the roads at the earliest.

“There are stretches that have not been repaired for around eight years and are not even motorable,” he said, adding that once the work stops because of cold weather, residents will have to suffer for another three to four months.

Baljinder Singh Bittu, president of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC), also questioned the delay, stating that it will be unacceptable if the MC fails to repair roads despite having funds.

Former mayor Asha Jaswal said residents have started questioning their area councillors about the bad condition of roads. “We must do something urgently,” she said.