July 27, 2009 2:23:48 am
Six months after it was set up,the road maintainenace cell of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation seem to be still hibernating even as the internal roads have begun to fall apart in the twin industrial township. While in some suburbs the internal roads are holding on to themselves with only few scratches visible,in most other suburbs potholes,craters and lose gravel are posing serious problems to two-wheeler riders and motorists.
The annual pothole festival,which generally takes off in Pimpri-Chinchwad after the first showers in June,this year has caught fever pitch after the rains of the past fortnight. Though the rainfall has not been as heavy as in the past,the roads have still crumbled. Their state speaks eloquently about their quality and the kind of importance the engineering department of the PCMC attaches to them. While the sight of potholes and loosely spread gravel making roads slippery is common in Dapodi,Pimpri,Sangvi,Nehrunagar,Masulkar Colony,Chikhli,Kudalwadi,the worst affected are the road stretches in Chinchwadgaon — a prime locality where thousands descend every day. It has dime a dozen shops,one of the biggest vegetable markets of the town,promiment schools,hospitals and popular Morya Gosavi temple. Even the road to Pune’s biggest hospital — the Aditya Birla Hospital — passes through Chinchwadgaon.
There are at least four roads that converge at the prominent Chapekar Chowk in Chinchwadgaon. The Pimpri-Chinchwad-link,the road from the Pune-Mumbai highway,the road from Akurdi soceity via Premlok Park and the road from Bijlinagar side. In fact,the Pimpri-Chinchwad link road itself has become unmotorable. The shoddy state of the road in Chinchwadgaon has only compounded the woes of those converging at Chapekar Chowk where an overbridge work is proceeding at a snail’s pace. Both sides of the road at Chapekar Chowk right up to the road that snakes to Fatechand school is dotted with potholes.
The road actually has surface which has come off at smaller distances. The Akurdi chowk to Chapekar chowk road is equally in a bad shape with craters making life difficult for motorists and two-wheeler riders.
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While Pradhikaran and Indrayani Nagar roads don’t seem to be much affected,the roads on the borders of the town have been hit hard. “In Chikhli and Kudalwadi,the roads remain in disrepair through the year. And during monsoon,the condition worsens,” says Shridhar Chalkha,a resident of Nigdi.
What is galling is the role of the maintenance department of the PCMC. It was especially set up Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma to do a quick repair job without waiting for the cumbersome tender process.
“The wing is headed by an executive engineer,comprises deputy engineers and junior engineers. It will report to the city engineer. Its main role will be to take care of the newly-laid roads once they are handed over to it. I want them to constantly monitor the state of roads, Sharma had said then. “It’s clear that PCMC’s maintenance wing is like any other department. The commissioner’s good intention have gone abegging if we look at the state of roads,” says activist Kailas Jadhav.
City engineer Eknath Ugile said he was aware of the state of roads and was waiting for rains to subside before starting the necessary action. Our machinery is ready..as soon as the rain stops we will fill up the potholes, said Ugile,who is known as in civic circles as the officer who acts,but lacks speed to act.
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