Ludhiana: Rain brings along bumper crop of potholes
The downpour that lashed the city last week has worsened the potholes dotting the city roads, proving the smiles it brought for the city residents short-lived.
Just when residents got some respite from the sultry weather, the civic body’s failure to take precautionary measures before the arrival of monsoon season, left them high and dry. Forget patch work with bitumen, the municipal corporation (MC) has failed to even fill potholes with soil and gravel to provide some relief to the commuters this rainy season. Worse, let alone a smooth ride, residents cannot even escape mishaps, as they fail to determine the potholes’ depth due to waterlogging.
A 30-year-old man sustained injuries on the leg and arm after he lost balance of his motorocycle on the potholed Sua Road from Phullanwal to Jawaddi on Monday morning. This mishap is not a solitary case, with several accidents occurring across the city, but not enough to wake up the civic body. As ironic as it may seem, the MC officials in their defence say the patch work cannot be conducted till August 15 as its hotmix plant will remain closed during the rains. Consequently, patch work in most wards could not be completed before the rainy season despite the repeated demands of the councillors.
Following the recent rains, the existing potholes have become larger on the Elevated Road near traffic lights, Sua Road (Phullanwal to Jawaddi), Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib to Jagraon Bridge Road, and on the roads in Salem Tabri and industrial areas, among others.
The patches laid on the road leading from Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib to Jagraon Bridge have also worn out, raising questions over the quality of work. The civic body had in March and April delayed the patch work repeatedly due to non-availability of the material required for carpeting.
A road safety activist, Rahul Verma, said “The potholes are an open invitation to mishaps, but the civic body is least concerned. If MC’s hotmix plant is not functional, it can purchase bitumen from other places, as road carpeting work is in progress on National Highway-1. In any case, the civic body should have at least completed the patch work on all affected roads before rainy season.”
“The MC chief should visit the Elevated Road at least to realise the gravity of the matter. While commuters are getting injured due to potholed roads, MC officials remain nonchalant. This only reflects the civic body’s apathy towards the safety of commuters. The potholes are also damaging vehicles,” said Sarabjit Singh, a resident of Jawaddi. Parveen Singla, in-charge of hotmix plant, said, “The plant will be made operational only after August 15 as patch work cannot be conducted in rainy season. The engineers concerned can meanwhile get the potholes filled with soil.”
MC additional commissioner Vishesh Sarangal said, “I will talk to the staff concerned for alternative measures as the hotmix plant is not operational. If patches are applied during rainy season, they will wear off easily.”