“Are the MC officials waiting for another death to happen?,” asks Shalini Malviya, member of the NGO, Swaraj Abhiyan. Around three years ago, a youth in Panchkula had slipped into coma after an accident near Amartex Chowk due to the potholes.
In another case of a mishappening due to lack of concern by authorities, one man was found dead in HSVP’s uncovered manhole on November 16, last year and consequently a case was registered under section 304 A of causing death by negligence. It was then that the HSVP and the municipal corporation had flung into action covering manholes across the city — a demand that had been raised by the residents for a long time.
The problem of bad roads is one of the oldest ones that the youngest city of Haryana has been suffering. It has been more than two-and-a-half years since Panchkula roads were last re-carpeted.
“When the roads were last re-carpeted, tall claims of the roads being the same atleast for a decade were made by the then officials. However, within a span of a two years, the roads are back to their original glory” said Shalini, talking about the pitiable condition of roads.
Her NGO along with Youth4Swaraj had initiated a ‘Mera Gaddhha, Mera Gaurav (my pothole, my pride)’ campaign, awarding people who sent the pictures of biggest potholes in the city after the death of the youth in 2017. They also carried artwork on the roads drawing smileys around pits to attract attention of the officials.
On January 31, the civic body had began the the repair work of the roads in the city with the most prominent dividing road of Sector 1/2. The work was then stopped the same day, moving on to various other smaller potholes of the sectors claiming the need for the “completion of over due CM window applications.”
However, on the various stretches, like dividing road of Sector 7/8 and the round about of Sector 14, where the repair works were carried out, the roads were seen corroded the following day itself.
“Even though the officials’ cars move on the road, they do not seem to care. The government has been spending money on things like roundabouts, statues and entry gates. We can certainly do without them , but not without roads,” she adds.
These broken and tattered roads can even be found on the main connecting road that connects trans ghaggar sectors to other sectors of the city. The road in close proximity to the DC office and Panchkula courts from Charkha Chowk to Majri Chowk, which is often used by the senior officials in the district including the deputy commissioner and sub-divisional magistrate, is the one most broken.
Several roads had recently been repaired in October, right before the Assembly elections, but could not live even for a few months. “The recent patch work beats it, and corrodes within a day. Do the engineers not know what they are doing or do they not overlook the work being done”, asks Shalini.
Meanwhile, Anuj Duggal, Associate Professor at NITTTR (National Institute of Technical Teachers Training & Research), who has acted as a consultant during the carpeting of various Panchkula roads said, “The thing with potholes is, they are always found in circles and these contractors will leave them as is. For the work to sustain, they first need to be cut in squares and then filled up with a base of bitumen spray and rolled over flat. The potholes of Panchkula that have been repaired lie above the road level, which is one reason for their corroding. They must be flattened. Compression by rollers is necessary. The traffic must also be stopped after they are repaired for the work to settle.”
The roads of the city are being repaired in such hurry that no heed is being paid to the kind of work being done say residents.
“Why are they even repairing if it is going to come out in a day?”, questions Rakesh Agarwal, resident of Sector 12. “After allowing the roads to be damaged to such extent, does the Municipal Corporation and HSVP not have enough technology to at least get the patch work done properly. The patch work which was done last week itself needs another patching,” he adds.
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