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Walking through Delhi’s first-class colonies, and third-rate roads

At six colonies in South Delhi — Greater Kailash-II, East of Kailash, RK Puram, Green Park Extension, Kalkaji, Chittaranjan Park— most roads were dilapidated, unpaved and riddled with potholes. The ability to walk safely through these roads was the biggest grievance, especially for senior citizens and children.

About 15,500 km of inner roads with 60 feet or less come under the MCD. (Express Photo)

The roads of the national capital are known for being wide, but a safe walk on these roads, be it arterial or ones inside residential colonies, is still a distant dream for pedestrians. With the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections ahead, The Indian Express took a walk through some of the upscale colonies of the city to find that most roads under the MCD colonies do not have proper pavements or a safe footpath.

At six colonies in South Delhi — Greater Kailash-II, East of Kailash, RK Puram, Green Park Extension, Kalkaji, Chittaranjan Park— most roads were dilapidated, unpaved and riddled with potholes. The ability to walk safely through these roads was the biggest grievance, especially for senior citizens and children.

According to officials, the corporation requires approximately Rs 150 crore to repair all roads maintained by the civic body. (Express Photo)

D-Block in East of Kailash, which houses about 4,000 houses, hardly had any space for pedestrians. Pavements were either encroached on by vendors and illegal parking or were broken and teeming with broken bricks, dust, open manholes, and non-functioning stormwater drains.

“Poor roads, potholes and waterlogging are major problems the residents face. Complaints have fallen on deaf ears. Due to poorly maintained stormwater drains, roads get waterlogged and soggy with mud, resulting in potholes. Besides, a lack of pavements poses challenges for residents, especially senior citizens,” said Karan Aggarwal, general secretary, RWA.

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Roads at GK-II and Green Park Extension were encroached on by cars and old vehicles. At some junctions, roads were dug up after sewerage and underwire work.

“A portion of the road was cordoned off by a telecom company as wires lay haphazardly. Similar is the situation with the Delhi Jal Board projects. When the RWAs raise this matter with the municipal body, the blame game begins. There is no synergy between the departments of the MCD. There are 30 departments and they will make you run from pillar to post. Online services are just a sham,” said Nakul Sharan, former president of Green Park extension, H Block.

Residents at CR Park and Greater Kailash-II too seemed equally peeved. Besides the condition of colony roads, they complained about waterlogging during monsoon, improper parking, and poorly maintained stormwater drains.

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“We don’t care which party comes in the MCD, our grievances are surrounding basic civic amenities. We pay huge amounts as house tax expecting better roads and sewer lines, but the MCD says they don’t have funds. People are left in the lurch, caught between AAP and BJP’s politics,” said Manish Kumar, a resident of CR Park.

In RK Puram’s Sector-1, a similar issue persists. Although the area is a well-developed government residential colony, roads are in poor shape. A resident said, “I am a differently-abled person and rely on a wheelchair. The roads inside the colony are uneven, and when we complain, they just do patchwork. Disabled-friendly walkways and roads in colonies are no politician’s concern.”

Residents also complained about collected water in open manholes and ditches, providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

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About 15,500 km of inner roads with 60 feet or less come under the MCD. According to officials, the corporation requires approximately Rs 150 crore to repair all roads maintained by the civic body. However, due to the ongoing politics between the BJP and AAP over funding, several projects are on hold, said an MCD official.

He added, “The erstwhile North and South MCDs earmarked budget to repair about 200 km of MCD roads but after the merging of the MCD, projects were delayed.” MCD has set a target to develop about 75 km of roads by March 2023 and the remaining 125 km by June 2023.

First published on: 30-11-2022 at 05:45 IST
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