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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Constituency watch: Potholed roads, stray dogs plague city of lakes Udaipur

Officials say roads have been damaged for development works, residents feel otherwise; they say pileups of garbage take sheen off beautiful sites

india Updated: Oct 23, 2018 15:03 IST
Sohail Khan
Sohail Khan
Hindustan Times, Udaipur
The condition of roads worsens after a few spells of rain. It has become difficult to commute on the roads, say residents.
The condition of roads worsens after a few spells of rain. It has become difficult to commute on the roads, say residents.(HT/File Photo)

Potholed and broken roads will greet a visitor to Udaipur, the city of lakes and a tourist destination that was included in the Centre’s smart city project in 2015. But officials have an explanation: roads have been damaged for development works.

“Roads have not developed potholes or craters on their own; we have dug them up either for laying cables or sewerage lines. In many cases, roads have been damaged for development work,” said Udaipur Municipal Corporation mayor Chandra Singh Kothari.

Residents are not convinced with the explanation. Bhagwan Prajapat (37), a social worker, said, “The condition of roads worsens after a few spells of rain. It has become difficult to commute on the roads; what prevents the government from repairing the roads?”

With assembly elections scheduled to be held in Rajasthan on December 7, the municipal corporation and government agencies have done patchwork on the roads, and inaugurated bridges and auditoriums. Prajapat said, “Patchwork will not serve any purpose; stretches of roads should have been laid anew.”

Urban Improvement Trust (UIT) chairman Ravindra Shrimali said, “Under the smart city project, the Udaipur Municipal Corporation has taken up a special plan for the development of roads with a budget of ₹100 crore; an equal amount will be contributed by UIT for the plan.”

Some people appreciated the new development initiatives. Rahul Soni (34), a businessman, said, “The bridge built over the Ayad river has eased traffic congestion and commuting has become easy.”

Atul Sharma (39), a self-employed youth, said, “The corporation has recently built an auditorium in Hiran Magri area, which is a praiseworthy step. The auditorium that can accommodate 500 people will help communities organise their programmes.”

The city surrounded by hills is famous for its beauty, which attracts domestic and foreign tourists. But residents said pileups of garbage and filth have taken the sheen off many beautiful sites. Also unauthorised guides (lapkas) are becoming a big nuisance for tourists.

Ansar Ahmad (42), an authorised tourist guide, said, “A lot of domestic and foreign tourists come to Udaipur, but the government has failed to curb unauthorised tourist guides, which is not only affecting our livelihood, but also creating a bad image about the city.”

The tourist city also faces the problem of stray cattle and dogs. “Stray cattle roaming on roads cause accidents; people are scared to walk on roads. Stray dogs make the life of residents miserable in colonies,” said Shakir Hussain (37), an employee of a private company.

Lakhan Sharma (30), a professional, said, “The government claims to have spent crores of rupees on the development of the city, but it is not visible.”

First Published: Oct 23, 2018 15:03 IST

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