Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Successive model codes, unstable govt wear down city infrastructure

Several roads in the capital need re-carpeting.(ARCHIVE) Several roads in the capital need re-carpeting. (Express Archive)
Written by Ruhi Bhasin , Naveed Iqbal , Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Posted: March 24, 2014 3:34 am | Updated: March 24, 2014 9:08 am

Scores of roads in the city are riddled with potholes. The PWD, responsible for their upkeep, blames the bad condition of the roads on work taken up by other agencies. And it’s not just roads. A host of infrastructure projects being undertaken by other civic agencies in the city has been beset with problems. RUHI BHASIN, NAVEED IQBAL & PRAGYA KAUSHIKA report.

PWD passes the buck, blames weather & polls for bad roads

Re-carpeting of roads, which are in a good condition, is a usual sight before every election, but not so in Delhi. Bearing the brunt of successive model code of conduct — one before the Assembly election last December and the present one for the Lok Sabha elections — the cold weather and the lack of a stable government in Delhi are the capital’s roads.

Work for which tenders were floated after the model code for the Assembly polls ended are being taken up now. According to the Public Works Department (PWD), which is responsible for the maintenance of a majority of roads in Delhi, since re-carpeting of roads cannot be taken up during cold weather, the work has been taken up now.

“We have completed work on 616 km of roads, which was handed over to us by the municipal corporation in 2012. Some stretches — like the road from Metcalfe House to Wazirabad, roads around Rani Bagh and the road from Britannia Chowk to Rohini — could not be re-laid as the model code of conduct kicked in for the Assembly elections. Thereafter, the weather was not conducive for re-carpeting work. So, the work on these stretches is being done now. The Mehrauli-Mahipalpur upgradation work is also stuck due to clearance issues,” PWD spokesperson Ravi Mathur said.

According to the PWD, stretches along the Ring Road and the Outer Ring Road have Metro work on. Re-carpeting of these roads cannot be done until Metro work is over.

“In case a stretch is in a bad condition due to Metro work, we ask the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to carry out repair work,” a PWD official said.

The PWD passed the buck on potholes along major stretches. It claimed that patches and potholes on roads like Mathura Road were due to work taken up by other agencies such as the Delhi Jal Board or power discoms.

After roads, adding up to a length of 670 km, was transferred by the municipal corporation to the PWD in 2012, the then Congress government had enlisted the help of institutions such as IIT-Roorkee and the Delhi College of Engineering to study the conditions of roads, which were more than 60-foot wide and suggest the best method to re-carpet the roads.

This included stretches such as Baba Gangnath Marg, Somnath Marg, Vasant Marg in South Delhi, Pusa Road, Pankha Road, Rohtak Road in West Delhi and roads in Rohini, Inderpuri, Mangolpuri, Najafgarh and Nangloi. continued…

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