Open manholes and gaping potholes on the road next to Topiary Park in Sector 6, could lead to a fatal accident. The manholes are lying open for months and authorities have chosen not to do anything about it.
A few weeks back, a vigilant resident had complained to Newsline about these traffic hazards and we apprised the municipal corporation, but a round of this road on Sunday showed that nothing has been done to cover the open manholes or fill the potholes with gravel.
Col K S Dhami (retd), while speaking to Newsline, said, ‘’I wrote a letter about the deteriorating state of Panchkula to Kavita Jain, Haryana Urban Local Bodies Minister, on January 29, and one copy was sent to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Unfortunately no action has been taken so far.’’
The slogan of ‘’minimum government and maximum governance’’ is far removed from ground reality, he said. He lamented that the authorities won’t do anything till the time a mishap is reported. ‘’To prevent any such mishaps, the administration must immediately take notice and ensure that there are no uncovered manholes or potholes on roads. Government must provide safe access to citizens.’’
In 2017, a youth organisation called ‘Youth4Swaraj’ had started painting these potholes white to draw attention of the authorities. Rohitash Kumar, a local, said, ‘’The issue of uncovered manholes and potholes is by no means a new one for people as there is hardly any road on which there isn’t one. Those who have been assigned with the duty to maintain the roads have no conscience. Else it hardly takes an hour to fix these potholes. There is influx of many vehicles on this stretch because of Topiary Park, Civil Hospital and Hansraj School. The MC must undertake repairs.’’
Lakhmir Singh, a local auto driver, said the gaping holes and craters on the roads leave a poor impression on visitors of the park. ‘’If these potholes are not fixed now, the MC will have to undertake a surgery to even them out,’’ he warned, blaming the rise in number of accidents to this neglect by MC. ‘’When driving on such roads, we focus on the surface of the road instead of looking ahead,which poses a threat, particularly to people crossing the road,’’
Rajiv, a local, rued that even the footpaths are in a terrible condition. ‘’Government talks of making smart cities but is this the way they want to make them smart. At few places, the potholes are being filled with lose pebbles which can prove to be risky. Also, you can see garbage lying on the footpath. The sweepers are not performing their work.’’
Kuldeep Singh, another resident, said a month ago, a women on out on her evening walk, got her foot stuck in a manhole. ‘’Fortunately, passersby came to her rescue, but it hasn’t proved to be a wake up call for the municipal corporation. A month has passed but the manhole remains uncovered. In the evening, it becomes very challenging for us to walk on sides of the road which are full of potholes. We fear for our children playing here.’’
He further added that most of the accidents occur due to over-speeding and poor road condition. ‘’One is individual responsibility and the other is responsibility of administration; both need to be accountable. A casual attitude by anyone could result in a loss of life.’’
Rajesh Jogpal ,HCS Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, while speaking to Chandigarh Newsline, said, ” I have not received any complaint as such so far. We will investigate the matter and if anything is found we will take an action on that but as of now I have no such information”
Jarnail Singh executive officer said ” I have no information, tomorrow we will send our team on the spot to check if there is any such thing we will repair it immediately if anything we found.”