Roads dug after concretization
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Roads dug after concretization

Dug up roads defeat the very purpose of improvising road infrastructure, reports Dhaval Kulkarni.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2006 22:59 IST

This is a typical example one comes across in the city daily-of finely laid out concretized and tarred roads with interlocking tiles being dug up to lay lines of public utilities, thus defeating the very purpose of improvising road infrastructure to make it world class.

Though agencies like the BMC and the MMRDA spend crores to carry out road laying work every year with inbuilt facilities for utilities, these roads are dug up at times by the 21-odd public utilities on various pretexts, the same Indian way that was practiced on conventional roads earlier.

Arterial roads like the JVPD main road at Juhu, stretches of the SV Road near the Maharana Pratap Chowk at Santacruz (West) and Khar, are among some of the roads, which have been dug up in a similar fashion, for laying connections of utilities and drain culverts.

Said rickshaw driver Shyam Jaiswal (25), "With a portion of the road dug up, the width of the carriageway is reduced, causing traffic jams. Haphazard parking adds to the problems. We rickshaw drivers are hit badly because this leaves us with little space to stop and solicit customers."

Added hawker Bhupati Gupta: "The mud spills on to the carriageway and causes vehicles to skid. The authorities should have put up some barricades for safety."
However, citizens groups say that such digging work defeats the very purpose of improvising the road facilities. Said Sharad Kumar, Media co-ordinator of the citizens group Agni: "Ideally, all the work of laying utilities like laying telephone lines must be done before the road is laid. This is necessary to prevent the road being dug up again and again. Unfortunately, this rule is rarely followed. Cautionary boards with details like the name of the contractor and the time period for the work completion are also put up rarely. Fluorescent red and white bands, which can warn motorists in the dark are also absent."

However, when questioned, Mohan Kadam, Chief Engineer (Roads), BMC, under whose jurisdiction the JVPD Main Road falls, said he would ask the concerned officials to complete the work soon.

Said AV Deshingkar, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner (Engineering), MMRDA, which has undertaken road improvement and storm water drain work on the SV road: "Work of laying culverts and telephone lines is going on there. I will look into the matter and ask the concerned officials to take action if the work is blocking access."

Deshingkar said that though they asked the utilities to complete the digging work before the laying was over, they asked for digging permission to lay new lines or replace old ones, as the old ones were damaged during the road excavation and laying work.

First Published: Oct 29, 2006 22:59 IST