Chandigarh MC to begin road repairs in March
Even though the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) is ready to start the repair works of city roads, the bumpy ride is unlikely to get better this financial year. With the rise in temperature, the civic body will start the recarpeting of roads in the first week of March and might take at least three months before completing the work pending for the last two years.
While MC is yet to even take up the road works for this year (2020-2021), it will attempt to complete the pending recarpeting for the previous year (2019-2020) when it starts the work next month. Dedicated funds released by the UT administration for the purpose are still to be fully utilised by the MC.
MC chief engineer Shailender Singh said, “We will start the road recarpeting and repair works from the first week of March.”
The MC engineering department has prepared a list of roads, which are to be carpeted, but is yet to sort them priority-wise. “The MC engineering department, along with contractors, are finalising the sector-wise priority plan. Contracts have already been given, and the work will be started as per this plan,” the chief engineer said.
Residents rue bumpy rides
For more than two years now, the condition of roads under the MC jurisdiction has been consistently deteriorating. While residents continued to suffer because of the poor road quality, civic body officials resorted to blame game, be it fund crunch, Covid-19 lockdown, or adverse season.
Jagpal Singh, Sector-35 RWA president and FOSWAC adviser, said, “It has been nearly eight years since the roads in the entire sector were recarpeted. They started the work last year on two roads here, but stopped it abruptly. It was mostly just a patchwork. Then the quality was so poor that the roads have started deteriorating.”
SK Khosla, general secretary, welfare association, MIG-I houses, Sector 40, said, “The condition of roads in our sector is one of the worst in the city. Most of the roads are in bad shape. Even those which were recarpeted only a few months back, like the V-5 road, are again in the need of repair.”
Residents also wonder why MC is slow in starting the road repair works. “Even though weather has become conducive, the civic body is still sitting idle. MC officials say that condition of all city roads would be improved by June this year, but with this pace it is unlikely to happen,” Khosla added.
Uncertainty over funds in coming financial year
In the coming financial year too, problems with road maintenance similar to those in the past few years, are likely to be experienced.
Even though the civic body has planned road works worth around ₹80 crore for financial year 2021-2022, it is not clear as to how it would fund these works. MC will start the financial year with a deficit of ₹670 crore with not enough funds to even meet its routine expenses like salaries. The revenue expenditure for the coming financial year at ₹1,197 crore is more than the total funds ( ₹971 crore), which the MC estimates to get.