The Panchkula Municipal Corporation installed rumble strips and cat’s eye, worth Rs 35 lakh, on several roads across eight sectors before March 15,2018, “without any guidelines”, its engineering wing said in a reply to a plea under Right to Information (RTI) Act.
A Sector 15 resident, S K Nayar, in May last year, sought information on guidelines under which these rumble strips were installed across Panchkula and how much money it cost.
On February 2, he received a reply stating, “No guidelines regarding rumble strips and cats’ eyes are available with the engineering branch of MC”.
Nayar told Newsline, “I fail to understand how and why these rumble strips are being installed, without any specific guidelines. Only partial reply has been given to me under RTI. MC claims no work was executed after March 15, 2018, which is a blatant lie”.
Executive engineer of the civic body, L C Chauhan told Newsline that he, too, was surprised over how the work was executed without any guidelines. He added that he could not reveal any more details at this stage since the work was executed during the tenure of his predecessor. Through the RTI reply, it was also learned that contract of rumble strips in seven sectors out of eight, were given to M/s A-one engineering works and M/s Sharma enterprise. Interestingly, both these agencies are sister concerns of M/s Sakumbari engineering works, the agency that is already under scanner for charging exorbitant amount of money from Panchkula MC for beautification of eight roundabouts.
All three contractors operate out of same building in Industrial Area, Panchkula. Chandigarh Newsline, in a series of news reports last year, had highlighted the haphazard manner in which the excessive rumble strips were being installed on inner sector roads in Panchkula and in violation of Indian Road Congress norms. That time, MC Commissioner, Rajesh Jogpal and Road Safety Advisor Navdeep Asija held meetings with Residents Welfare Associations. Residents complained that their vehicles were getting damaged because of “too many rumble strips.”
Asija observed that rumble strips were installed at points, where they were not required and were against IRC norms. As per the RTI, while M/s Sharma enterprise installed rumble strips worth Rs 9.80 lakh in Sector 16 and 17; M/s A-one installed rumble strips worth Rs 4.60 lakh in Sector 20. In Sector 9, A-one installed these for Rs 4.75 lakh; in Sector 1 and 2 for Rs 3.98 lakh and in Sector 7 for Rs 4.31 lakh.