Nagpur’s pathetic roads rock NMC’s meet; Mayor asks civic chief to take action in 15 days

Mayor Pravin Datke

Mayor Pravin Datke (File Pic)

 The issue of dilapidated roads on several stretches of Nagpur rocked the NMC’s general body meeting held here on Wednesday. Amid the uproar Opposition lambasted administration, ruling party and erring contractors for pitiable condition of roads, most of which are washed away in the first spell of rains itself. Mayor Praveen Datke took the ruling party to task while directing NMC Commissioner Sharavan Hardikar to review all the city roads and get the signboards of the concerned departments installed on various stretches, in order to fix the accountability. Besides, Datke also directed to form a Committee which should include corporators of all the parties and concerned authorities and take necessary action within 15 days. The complete action taken report should be submitted in the general body meeting to be held in August, Datke added.

It may be mentioned that road construction works in Nagpur have been undertaken by different departments including National Highway Authority, Nagpur Improvement Trust, NMC, PWD etc. However only NMC is generally blamed for all the mess. Ironically, the NMC’s Chief Engineer termed only 18 roads, which are under defect liability period, as bad. He stressed upon upgradation of roads concerned with NMC.

Raising the issue in NMC general body meeting, Congress corporator Prafulla Gudadhe Patil alleged that most of the roads in city are washed away within 6-8 months of its construction. This clearly indicates corruption at massive scale by contractors, in connivance with the authorities. This has not only congested the traffic but multiplied road acidents as well, Patil added.
Sources said contractor who worked in Trimurti Nagar and Bhujbal layout committed gross negligence even in road repairs. For example, only one patch was covered leaving another four as it is. This eventually worsened the situation beyond bearable limits of citizen. Even in Chinch Bhavan which falls under NMC has been left in pathetic state as far as inner roads are concerned. Only half the stretch was built near Chinch Bhavan bus stop and that too lost all gravel in first bout of rains, leaving the citizens in complete distress.

Leader of Opposition in NMC Vikas Thakre also levelled serious allegations regarding NMC’s style of functioning. Thakre alleged that tender-fixing is rampant in NMC, corporators are mostly non-technical and jet patcher machine proved to be of no use. Only the contractors minted lakhs of rupees out of NMC’s coffers, he alleged. The concerned authorities work on their whims. He questioned the work of contractors alleging that the roads built by NMC are still in good condition whereas those done by contractors have reached pathetic state in just few months. He demanded to blacklist the corrupt contractors, issue showcause notices to the concerned officials and also suspend them if found guilty.

Corporator Purushottam Hazare suggested to get the quality of roads tested from an expert agency to held the concerned department accountable. BJP corporator Sanju Bonde however advocated that the erring contractors should be blacklisted, not their respective companies. This would avoid the chances of getting the same contractor on board through different company.
However the ruling party remained mum most of the time and came up with lackluster explanation. Ruling party leader Dayashankar Tiwari said that only 18 roads are bad which includes 8 roads by a single contractor whereas 2 were assigned to another contractor. He also stressed the need to fill vacant posts and training workshops for the employees and officials of the concerned department.

– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( )