Potholed roads, bitumen washing off and level of roads increasing leading to water-logging, the roads of Ludhiana narrate an ugly tale of how Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has spent Rs 70 crore on the maintenance of roads but nothing seemed to stay.
The work of re-carpeting the roads started immediately after the announcement of Lok Sabha polls and ruling Akali Dal boasting of unprecedented development’. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal too launched ‘Mission Ludhiana’ worth Rs 2,499 crore last year with much fanfare promising world class infrastructure for the industrial city.
Gill road, Pakhowal road, Jawaddi road, Ring road and roads in almost all outwards areas such as Tajpur, Gyaspura, Brown Road and many others portray the apathy of the MC which spent almost Rs 70 crore on maintenance of roads in 2013-14.
On Sunday, the contractor hired by MC re-carpeted the Gill Road from canal to Arora Palace traffic lights and by Sunday evening the bitumen was washed off.
What is further more surprising is that no official-executive engineer of chief engineer was present on the spot violating the Memorandum of Works (MW-4) which is duly signed between the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and contractors before starting the work. The work was done on Sunday which is also the violation of the clause-19 of MW-4 which states, ‘no work shall be done on Sundays without prior permission of engineer-in-chief.’
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Kuldeep Singh Khaira, a resident said, “I noticed that new re-carpeting done on Gill road was washed away after few hours which shows how the contractor are using poor quality material.”
The contractor did not stop the work even after rains lashed the city and as result re-carpeting was washed off within few hours.
The re-carpeting done in front of sitting MP Manish Tewari’s house on Pakhowal road too showed potholes last week which were re-filled by the contractor the next day.
‘Contractor was negligent’
Additional commissioner Sumit Jarangal accepted that the contractor was negligent on Gill road. He said, “We noticed re-carpeting washing away on Gill road. We have stopped his payments and issued show cause notice. He will work on the same road again.” He added, “Technically, a contractor has to take permission before working on Sunday and has to stop putting bitumen if it starts raining but this contractor continued the work in rain which is absolutely wrong.” As per MC budget figures, it has spent Rs 43 crore on maintenance of roads from January to December 2013 while another Rs 26.48 crore were spent from January to March this year. It has kept budget of Rs 75.50 crore for repair of roads in 2014-15 and Rs 101 crore for new road works in 2014-15.