Delhi’s tryst with bad roads does not seem to end. More than a year after the Delhi government took over maintenance of all roads 60 feet and above in width, and MCD was entrusted with upkeep of inner-colony roads only, the condition of the latter remains bad as ever.
With such roads catering to the general public only and not weathering heavy traffic on a daily basis, no one seems to be interested in their maintenance. In the meantime, Delhiites run from pillar to post trying to get them repaired so as to escape the daily hassles created by bad roads.
Amit Agarwal, resident of sector A, pocket B, Vasant Kunj says, “One would think that South Delhi, being the most affluent part of the city, should have beautifully carpeted roads; but look at the Japanese School Road here. This 800 m road has been lying in shambles for the past 10 years now. Our local MCD councillor says it’s above 60 ft width and hence a PWD road. On the other hand PWD says it’s an ‘inner road’ and therefore MCD liability.”
“It is not just a problem for us but creates a bad impression on foreign expats and dignitaries as well who visit the Japanese school on this road. Nothing, though, seems to awaken our authorities from their sleep.”
It is a similar story in Ashok Vihar, North-west Delhi. Dr HC Gupta, president, RWAs, Ashok Vihar, informs us, “Colony roads in all four phases of Ashok Vihar are in a very bad condition. They are uneven, broken and potholed. Surprisingly, they were relaid just six months back but the concrete mix seems to have either lacked cement or not laid in the right quantity. It is not just about public inconvenience but a criminal waste of taxpayers’ money.”
In Karol Bagh, a host of roads – Gurudwara, Saraswati, Ganga Mandir and Tank Marg – were dug up during the Commonwealth Games for cable laying. Since then, they have remained in that position. Atul Goyal, convenor, United Residents Joint Action of Delhi and resident Pusa Road says, “These roads lie around the Karol Bagh market. So when market visitors are hassled, it affects the business of the shopkeepers as well.”
In Pocket B, Mayur Vihar Phase-II, East Delhi, residents try to go out as infrequently as possible. You never know when you place a foot in one of the potholes of Bal Bhawan Road. NN Misra, an elderly resident shares, “If someone has gotten a knee surgery done recently, that person cannot walk on this road. Same for expecting women and children. Rickshaws don’t want to come here. God knows what will happen after the monsoon.”
When Metrolife contacted the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, the chairman of its Works Committee, Satya Sharma claimed, “We have not received any complaint from this area so far. There is still a lot of confusion regarding which roads fall under PWD and which ones are MCD responsibility. However, I agree that people must not be made to suffer for lack of govt regulations. Now that this has been brought to my notice, I’ll certainly look into it.”