Ill-planning writ large on city roadshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/illplanning-writ-large-on-city-roads/

Ill-planning writ large on city roads

Not a very long time ago,Rs 50 crore was spent to beautify the city pavements with paver-blocks and tiles. The tiles did make the pavements look nice,but not for long.

Not a very long time ago,Rs 50 crore was spent to beautify the city pavements with paver-blocks and tiles. The tiles did make the pavements look nice,but not for long. Most of these pavements are now in shambles. Reason: lack of coordination between the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC).

These days,cable-laying work is in progress (simultaneously) on many stretches in the city. Around 16 stretches from the Princep Street to EM Bypass have been dug up by the CESC to lay an underground electric cable. And in the coming days,other roads – Jadunath Dey Road,Rani Rashmoni Road,Free School Street,Park Street,Camac Street,Shakespeare Sarani and Park Circus Connector – will be affected by the project.

Roads like the Free School Street are good examples of ill-planning. For the last 2-3 years,the road has never been in a “normal” state as some underground project or other keeps pace with time.

The multi-crore beautification project of the Park Street,Camac Street and Shakespeare Sarani by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has also gone waste. Now,the expensive tiles are broken.

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Meanwhile,the Mayor expressed helplessness. “We have been trying to coordinate with the service providers since long so that they abide by the guidelines before digging the pavements and roads,but to no avail. We cannot even stop them for doing their work as it is related to providing service to people,” Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said.

But should only the private players be blamed? A senior KMC official feels yes. “Several times we have asked the service providers to submit their plans in advance,but they fail to do that. Unless we get the plan,how can we restore the pavements? There have been many instances when we had to give them a go-ahead just few days after our restoration work,” he says. “But the digging and restoration have to be planned.”

Though the Dalhousie Square,which was dug up to strengthen electricity supply to the Eden Gardens during the IPL matches,has been restored with paver-blocks,the reason behind such waste remains untouched.

This,despite the apex body in the KMC,which deals with the issue,meeting the service provider once every month.