Potholed roads leave Gurugram vulnerable to flooding, accidents

The road infrastructure is known to deteriorate due to frequent rain during the monsoon, causing potholes to widen, which invariably causes waterlogging and accidents

gurgaon Updated: Jun 23, 2018 12:00 IST
Anurit Kanti & Kartik Kumar
Anurit Kanti & Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Gurugram,Gurgaon,Potholed roads
Experts said the roads, as well as the stormwater drains, are in a bad shape, and accumulated water on the road reduces the binding force of the bituminous road.(Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)

Tough the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has repaired roads in the run-up to the monsoon, which is expected to hit the city next week, many stretches of the city are still riddled with potholes.

The road infrastructure is known to deteriorate due to frequent rain during the monsoon, causing potholes to widen, which invariably causes waterlogging and accidents. As per a survey by the traffic and highway department, Gurugram has the least safe roads in the state, with potholes being a major problem.

Experts said the roads, as well as the stormwater drains, are in a bad shape, and accumulated water on the road reduces the binding force of the bituminous road.

“Whenever vehicles pass over the accumulated water on the road, potholes are created, which increase in size as vehicles pass over it,” said Dr Sewa Ram, professor of transport planning, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.

“Newly built cement concrete roads, such as the Old Delhi Gurugram Road, Sheetla Mata Road and the road connecting Palam Vihar and Sector 5 also do not have a clear and continuous drain line, which causes water accumulation and hence, potholes,” he added.

As per the Haryana Vision Zero report, more than 1,200 accidents have taken place due to faulty road infrastructure in the last three years.

“The situation of Gurugram roads is the worst for pedestrians, bikers and other vehicle owners, as potholes form a major safety hazard and make them susceptible to accidents,” said Sarika Panda Bhatt, head, urban transport and road safety, WRI India.

ND Vashisht, the chief engineer of MCG, said, “Most potholes have been mended and 90% of the roads across the city have been fixed.”

MG Road

As the road which connects New Delhi and Gurugram, MG Road is one of the most prominent roads of Gurugram, but it is not devoid of problems. There are potholes at several places, the worst in front of Sahara Mall and Essel Towers, and there is also an issue with the drainage system, as work is currently ongoing in the open sewers along the road, which further aggravates the issue.

Certain low-lying areas on MG Road, such as the entrance to Essel Towers, are susceptible to rainwater accumulation, which flows down the road.

“Water accumulates up to a height of four-five feet at the entrance during the monsoon, as the drainage system is blocked,” Shashi Dharan, board manager of the Essel Towers RWA, said.

Given the volume of traffic on MG Road, potholes in these areas make the road susceptible to accidents, and as the conditions of potholes are set to worsen in the monsoon, it may prove problematic to those who use the road frequently.

BROKEN ROADS POSE MONSOON CONDUNDRUM
HT went on a spot check of five important roads of the city that connect different corners and found several problems that could hamper the smooth traffic flow in the coming
An arterial road, where there is a high footfall, is yet to be fixed. (PARVEEN KUMAR/HT)
1) Sohna Road
  • IMPORTANCE: Sohna Road has numerous offices, residential estates and shopping malls in its vicinity. The road leads to Mewat and Palwal, and extends up to Alwar
  • AGENCY CONCERNED: Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, Public Works Department
  • ISSUES: There are potholes on the service road at several spots, including in front of Uniworld Garden
  • MEASURES: The municipal corporation officials are in the process of cleaning drains along the road and fixing the issues ahead of the monsoon
A part of the the Golf Course Road caved in near the Sector 53/54 Rapid Metro station. (HT FILE)
2) Golf Course Road
  • IMPORTANCE: Leads to DLF Phase-1, DLF Phase-4 and DLF-5
  • AGENCY CONCERNED: Haryana Urban Development Authority, DLF
  • ISSUE: Country side Avenue, an arterial road converging at the Genpact Chowk, is broken, as a result of which it gets waterlogged during monsoon. The run-off water settles at the junction as a result. The road is being transferred to the GMDA
  • MEASURE: An underpass was built at the junction earlier this year, which helps a majority of the commuters bypass the waterlogged stretch. However, the underpass has been closed twice in the past
A spot in front of Suncity on Golf Extension Road is riddled with big potholes. (PARVEEN KUMAR/HT)
3) Golf Course Extension Road
  • IMPORTANCE: Many residential apartments are located on the road from sector 55/56 to sectors 50, 57 and 49. It also provides residents of south Gurugram access to the Southern Peripheral Road
  • AGENCY CONCERNED: Municipal Corporation of Gurugram
  • ISSUE: There are a few potholes on the road and the area around Sun City is in a bad shape
  • MEASURES: MCG is in the process of fixing this road ahead of the monsoon
The mall mile is one of the most visited stretches of Gurugram. (PARVEEN KUMAR/HT)
4) MG Road
  • IMPORTANCE: It connects Delhi and Gurugram
  • AGENCY CONCERNED: National Highways Authority of India, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram
  • ISSUE: Drains along this road have been left open, as work is going on in the open sewer. There are potholes on the road, especially in front of Essel Tower, which is on a low-lying stretch, due to which water tends to accumulate at the spot
  • MEASURES: MCG is in the process of cleaning drains to prevent waterlogging
Three lanes of the Hero Honda Chowk flyover were shut for a week. (HT FILE)
5) Hero Honda Chowk flyover
  • IMPORTANCE: It connects Jaipur and New Delhi. An estimated 3 lakh commuters travel between Gurugram and New Delhi on a daily basis alone
  • AGENCY CONCERNED: National Highways Authority of India
  • ISSUE: Hero Honda Chowk flyover is riddled with potholes and infrastructural issues, the most prominent one a 15cm deep, 250 cm wide hole in the middle of the flyover’s carriageway
  • MEASURES: IIT Bombay is currently doing some repair work and running a few tests on the road to improve its functioning

Residents said the MCG has been notified several times about the problem and has even been suggested that the overflow from MG Road be used for rainwater harvesting, but to no avail.

“We also want someone to manage the by-lane as it gets messy, especially during monsoon, and as the IFFCO underpass is blocked, the monsoon is going to be very bad in this area. Accidents will take place frequently if the road is not fixed before the monsoon,” said Dharan.

Golf Course Road

Despite undergoing a transformation over the last year, with several underpasses opening their lanes to commuters, one problem has continued to persist on the Gold Course Road – the deplorable condition of Countryside Avenue, an arterial road near Genpact chowk, which, being at a higher altitude, has led to waterlogging at the junction several times in the past.

Even as the monsoon is fast approaching, the road remains riddled with potholes and is broken in patches, indicating that the threat of the stretch getting waterlogged, with the run-off water settling at the Genpact Chowk junction, still persists.

An underpass constructed at the junction and opened to commuters earlier this year. This may offer an opportunity of reducing the number of commuters affected by waterlogging, by allowing them to bypass the stretch. However, this cannot be guaranteed as the underpass has been closed repeatedly for work – it has already been closed twice this year, as a result of which commuters have had to use the main road.

“While the underpass has helped commuters bypass the stretch, those using the Sector 53/54 Metro station will be affected as potholes come up on the stretch due to waterlogging,” Mihir Kohli, a resident of DLF-5, said.

Even as residents anticipate issues, officials refused to take responsibility for the task. An official of the Haryana Urban Development Authority, speaking on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the entire Golf Course Road is in the process of being transferred to the GMDA, as a result of which several projects, including repair of certain stretches, are in a limbo.

Golf Course Ext Road

Golf Course Extension Road, despite being extremely functional in most areas, is still affected by the pothole problem. The worst affected patch is the area surrounding Suncity, where water accumulates at the entrance as it flows from the hilly areas in the vicinity. This worsens the situation for residents, as they are unaware of the potholes, because of which they trip and injure themselves.

“Nothing is being done to fix the road ahead of monsoon. We have complained at the CM window often. Both the internal and external roads at Suncity are bad and only the road around the Suncity School is fine,” VMK Singh, general secretary of the Suncity RWA said.

Potholes on Golf Course Extension have become a perennial problem, exposing vehicles to risks.

Residents said the water accumulates up to five feet at the entrance of Suncity, from the gate till the ICICI Bank. “The drainage is also blocked inside Suncity,” said Singh. This adds to woes of the residents, as they will not be able to carry out their daily tasks during heavy rains because of the impending water accumulation.

Sohna Road

With numerous offices, residential estates and shopping malls in the area, Sohna Road is another prominent road in Gurugram. However, it is still riddled with potholes and waterlogging is a major problem there.

Outside Uniworld Garden 1, there is a large pothole on the service road, which causes inconvenience to motorists. “Sohna Road is not prepared at all for the coming monsoon. We have complained to the MCG commissioner a lot but nothing has happened,” said Siddarth Prakash, estate office head, Uniworld Garden 1 RWA.

There is a high footfall of vehicles on Sohna Road and accidents could take place on the main carriageway and the service road if the potholes are not fixed, said residents.

Long jams are also frequent in the area during monsoon, said residents, due to the ‘humungous potholes and waterlogging due to the incomplete work on drains. “The drains are not clean; they fill up fast and spew water on the road,” Prakash said.

Hero Honda Chowk flyover

Hero Honda Chowk flyover is integral to Gurugram as it connects Jaipur and Delhi and forms a part of the expressway.

However, it is riddled with potholes and infrastructural problems, the most prominent being a 15cm deep, 250 cm wide hole in the middle of the flyover’s carriageway, due to which three lanes of the flyover had to be closed for a week.

A team from IIT Bombay is currently undertaking repair work and running a few tests on the road to improve its functioning.

“The repair work at the carriageway on Hero Honda flyover has been carried out as per IIT Bombay recommendations and it is satisfactory. However, the spot is being monitored to ensure there is no scope of any error, as monsoon is coming and this road is of a huge significance,” Ashok Sharma, NHAI project director, said.

First Published: Jun 23, 2018 11:59 IST