OPEN HOUSE

Go for austerity, raise pitch for more funds: Residents to Chandigarh MC

Check quality of material used for re-carpeting, make staff executing work accountable & keep an eye on contractors

Go for austerity, raise pitch for more funds: Residents to Chandigarh MC

Is Rs100 cr enough to get city roads back in pristine condition ?

Rs 100 cr pittance for road repairs

It was preposterous to learn that the Municipal Corporation (MC), Chandigarh, had prepared a list of 61 critical roads in the city for re-carpeting during 2019-20 and 2020-21. Ironically, there are hundreds of other roads in the city, many of them in bad shape due to poor upkeep, pending for re-carpeting for a long time. I think a budget allocation worth Rs 100 crore is just a pittance given the bad condition of roads in every sector making driving a nightmarish odyssey. The Union Government needs to enhance annual budgetary allocations to enable dispensation take up road repairs. The MC needs to check its expenses by adopting austerity measures. Sooner than later, revenue generation exercise has to launched.

Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh


Minuscule amount for road re-carpeting

The amount of re-carpeting work is quite large as 61 roads need repairs during this and next fiscal. At 200 places, road re-carpeting is pending since previous years as late as 2017. To give Chandigarh roads its pristine condition lots of funds, honest desire, handwork and time bound efforts are required. Weather can play a spoilsport. The MC should plan after taking Weather Department into loop. Local hard work and councillors can be approached for finances from their local area development fund. The MC can approach the UT Administration for funds as one-time assistance to complete this Herculean task. Declare this year as “Roads year”.

Bharat Bhushan Sharma, Chandigarh


Mount pressure on UT Administration

Cash starved MCC has been left with no alternative, but to split funds in a manner that roads posing danger to general public are repaired/re-carpeted on top priority. Thereafter, other roads can be re-carpeted or repaired with left over funds. At the same time, the MCC should mount pressure on the Chandigarh Administration for the release of funds for re-carpeting of all other left out roads. Senior officials of the MCC should make honest and personal efforts instead of sending a pile of budget documents to the Chandigarh Administration as a matter of routine.

Ravinder Nath, Chandigarh


Check unproductive expenses of civic body

The development work totally depends on budget allocated to the Municipal Corporation (MC). The MC demanded Rs 1,350 crore, but was allocated only Rs 425 crore. Stop unnecessary expenses or benefits given to councillors/Mayor if there is financial crisis. Allocation of budget should be according to previous development work. The MC has to cut down expenses on adventurous tours with family on public expense. Civic work and important projects suffer or come to halt due to such unnecessary expenses.

Charu Malhotra, Mohali


Onus of good roads lies on MC

It’s good to learn that the MC has started re-carpeting of city roads. One cannot escape from bumpy ride on several stretches in the city. Commuters face a tough time traversing on potholed roads. For steering clear of mishaps and making roads safer, the High Court had in its landmark orders made it clear that providing reasonably good roads was duty of the authorities. Why has the MC allocated only Rs 100 crore for road re-carpeting? It seems to be not enough. Thank God! Even after a tough check the Mayor has not seen any broken road in the City Beautiful. The Mayor herself ordered road re-carpeting and said that she would personally check its progress. The Administration has to ensure additional funds for the MC.

Vidya Sagar Garg, Panchkula


Officials accountable for quality of work

Even after complaints by city residents roads are in shambles. Likewise, people are challaned even for minor violations in Chandigarh. Officials should be accountable and penalised if road quality control is compromised. Potholes appear because of substandard road repairs leading to more wear and tear of vehicles. As far as priority to road re-carpeting is concerned, sector or area is not important. Roads in poor condition and where volume of vehicular traffic is more should be given priority. The Administration should recognise the importance of good roads in the city and provide adequate funds. The Administration should also monitor the cost and quality that can improve condition of roads in UT and save revenue.

Col Balbir Singh Mathauda (retd), Chandigarh


Get matching funds from Central Govt

Well kept roads is the index of good governance and the Administration of the city/state. Though Chandigarh carries the tag of City Beautiful and also has world heritage title for its uniqueness and Capitol Complex, most of its roads are in pathetic state. Damaged roads not only inconvenience commuters, but also cause accidents, besides excessive fuel consumption and abnormal wear and tear of vehicles. It certainly speaks poorly of the UT Administration and the MC. The allocation of Rs 100 crore for road re-carpeting in the current fiscal is peanuts. The MC should seek matching grant from the Central Government.

SS Arora, Mohali


MC should be self-sustained body

The amount of Rs 100 crore may not be enough to re-carpet city roads. The MC is as usual cash starved. This is due to misplaced priorities and uncontrolled wasteful expenditure. On the other hand, the MC has failed to enhance its revenue. Let the MC put its best brains together and work towards adding more revenue to its coffers. Let it become a self-sustaining body that can earn the amount it plans to spend for the betterment of the city. IT tools can be used. The city can be promoted as destination for local, foreign and medical tourists. Filmmakers can be invited for shooting their upcoming flicks. More industrial houses should setup their offices in the city. The MC can also tap funds from corporate houses under the corporate social responsibility head. Let corporates maintain and manage roads across the city in return of advertisement rights.

Dr Rajeev Kumar, Chandigarh


Assess genuine cost of re-carpeting roads

Dilapidated roads in the City Beautiful are a disaster for drivers. Many vehicle riders lose valuable lives due to damaged roads. MC Engineers have to assess the genuine cost of re-carpeting critically damaged roads. The MC should restart re-carpeting work with whatever funds available at its disposal. At the same time, the authorities must keep a strict vigil on contractors so that specified material is used and they complete the re-carpeting work within stipulated period. An engineer, expert in road construction, should accompany the Adviser to the UT Administrator to Delhi and pressure officials concerned for the allotment of required funds for the re-carpeting work.

MR Bhateja, Nayagaon


Allocated sum can provide good roads

Truth remains that the MC cries only for Rs 100 crore allocated for roads in 2020-21. City roads have remained deplorable since the past three to four years. Where have unspent budgetary allocation of those years gone? Had the MC maintained roads on yearly basis things would not have come to such a pass. Still, if the MC is sincere in its efforts, current allocated amount may provide good roads in Chandigarh.

MPS Chadha, Mohali


Use quality material for re-carpeting

Allocation of Rs 100 crore for re-carpeting so many roads in the City Beautiful is inadequate. The MC ought to take strict steps to ensure that the material used for re-carpeting is of the prescribed standard and the work is carried out under expert supervision. Also a rule should be implemented to ensure that roads not designed for heavy vehicles is used by smaller automobiles. An inventory of roads that wear out faster should be prepared to rationally plan the re-carpeting work and avoid in fructuous expenditure when deficit budgeting has become a rule than an exception.

Dr SS Bhatti, Chandigarh


Repair roads during night hours

In City Beautiful, the number of vehicles registered with the RLA exceeds the size of its population. About 70,000 new vehicles are added every year in the city. Carpooling for office-goers/schoolchildren is absent in the city. All these factors put pressure on roads for re-carpeting and filling potholes. Kudos to Mayor, who has entrusted re-carpeting work to three Xens. Many roads need re-carpeting. The MC can purchase a high-tech pothole machine, which can fill 15 to 20 potholes in an hour, in the city. The re-carpeting work if done during night hours will certainly lessen inconvenience to the public. It will also ensure quickness, quality, durability and cost effectiveness.

Harish Kapur, Chandigarh


Concrete roads only solution

Chandigarh has no money constraint, but the problem lies in its utilisation by councillors, who always want more and more facilities for themselves. An amount of Rs 100 crore earmarked for roads may not be enough, but is still a significant sum. Concrete roads are the answer to the problem, as they do not require regular maintenance and re-carpeting. As the bitumen mix for road construction prepared by blending various materials is mostly compromised by contractors life span of roads is short. The MC has no focus on quality due to which roads get damaged earlier than mandatory deadline causing loss to the exchequer. There is no third party external audit of the road carpeting works.

Rajiv Boolchand Jain, Zirakpur


Allocate funds for roads on time

Timely repair of roads needs lesser amount as compared to re-carpeting. Road re-carpeting where needed should be done on priority basis, as it is a major reason of accidents especially during the foggy season. Can we compromise with the quality of material or delay re-carpeting work? The government should allocate budget for roads in the City Beautiful on time. It can reduce unwanted expenditure of the MC.

Avinash Goyal, Chandigarh


Repair not possible with deficit budget

It’s true that road re-carpeting did not get priority during the last two years due to paucity of funds and injudicious spending by the MC Chandigarh. This worsened condition of city roads particularly those, which witness high volume of traffic. With this year’s deficit budget, re-carpeting of all such roads may not be possible. In the present circumstances, the UT Administration will do well by raising its pitch for requisite funds from the Centre Government. To ensure better quality control RWAs can help through their knowledgeable volunteers by keeping a watch on the quality during road re-carpeting in their respective areas.

SC Luthra, Chandigarh


Use sanctioned amount judiciously

For sure, the allotted amount of Rs 100 crore is not enough to get roads in the City Beautiful back to their pristine condition. It is ambiguous how the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation will carry on with all this work. The best solution to this problem will be to repair roads on priority basis depending upon their usage. It will be impossible to repair all roads with a meager budget. There is a need for careful planning before allocating funds for roads. Only contractors with clean image should be allotted repair work so that all funds are used judiciously. Moreover, the Municipal Corporation needs dedicated and intelligent staff, which can make proper use of funds.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Chandigarh


UT Admn must pitch in with funds

Until total budget required for re-carpeting of all roads is allocated work should not be started. The Chandigarh Administration and the Central Government must provide the balance amount as required so as to enable the Municipal Corporation to start re-carpeting work.

Tarlok Singh, Mani Majra


Revert to Chief Commissioner model

Economy of a country runs on its roads, which are an indicator of city’s governance model. Top heavy politico-bureaucratic imbroglio is responsible for major outgo of public funds leaving little for the upkeep of the city’s road network. The UT Administrator needs to veto Rs 50 lakh earmarked for study tours. Chandigarh’s unique set-up has multiple power centres, that cost exchequer dearly. Public purse is for the welfare of the public and not to feed guilty and greedy. Only vested interests would be hurt if the MC is done away with and the UT reverts to the Chief Commissioner governance model as the most effective austerity measure.

Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula


Give back road tax with interest

I fail to understand why the Administration and Municipal Corporation do not provide smooth, neat and clean roads to motorists, who pay road tax before registration number is allotted for their vehicles? The city roads are teeming with deadly five to six metre potholes in any given sector. The road tax collected should be given back with 10,000 per cent interest per year. This is our right. Or, let the High Court intervene and decide the case. We are fed up driving on third class roads in the City Beautiful, known world over.

RK Kapoor, Chandigarh


Give some relief to city residents

Roads in the City beautiful are in shambles. Many accidents happen on potholed roads, but the MC is in stupor. Last year, Municipal Commissioner said the MC did not have enough funds for the repair or re-carpeting of roads. Even budget allocated to the UT is not enough to implement its pending plans. Hope that the MC will be able to repair roads in the city.

Vijay Malia, Chandigarh


MC should generate its own income

It is the litmus test of the MC to use the allocated amount judicially and intelligently. All roads cannot be re-carpeted with Rs 100 crore. The MC has to focus on main roads, which require immediate repair. The UT Administration must send a supplementary demand for more money for road repairs. The MC is wasting public money and allocated budget on unproductive and unwarranted purposes like buying laptops for councillors, spending on festivals and study tours. The MC must not depend on Central budgetary allocations. It should generate its own income and funds from various schemes.

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar (retd), Mohali


Cosmetic repairs do not last long

Basically, it is routine practice of re-carpeting roads with bitumen concrete mixture, but it is travesty that this cosmetic repair does not withstand for a couple of raining seasons. After a short spell of rain, potholes appear on roads. Again, an astronomical amount is allocated and same process of tendering is initiated. We fail to find an alternative, more reliable material and causes of early damage of repaired roads. Each time taxpayers money is wasted. Main reason of damage of roads is accumulation of water after rains and poor quality of material used in repairs.

Deepak, Chandigarh


Don’t launch new projects

If the MC had re-carpeted roads on time Rs 100 crore budgetary allocation would have been enough. The MC can still cut off its expenditure incurred on events, tea parties, study tours, Rose Festival and Chrysanthemum Show. No new projects should be launched for the time being. The MC can generate revenue by collecting water and electricity bills arrears and property tax. The MC should prioritise work and spend money accordingly.

Abhilasha Gupta, Mohali


MC, Mayor should press for funds

The MC and the Mayor are making fool of the people. Chandigarh roads have become accidents prone as they are worst than ‘kaccha’ stretches. With just Rs 100 crore allocation the MC cannot even repair inner roads of sectors, which are worst than main roads. The word sincerity is missing from the MC agenda. The civic body and Mayor should start an agitation for required funds instead accepting the meager amount.

Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh


Union govt must reconsider budget

The hopes of MC, Chandigarh, were dashed as it did not get the share in the 2020-21 Budget it had asked for. The MC needs sufficient funds to maintain roads. The condition of the roads in the City Beautiful is worsening and repairs/re-carpeting has to be done urgently. A budget of Rs 100 crore will not be sufficient for the total repair of the road network. So, the Union Government must re-consider the Budget allocation for the MC so that roads can be well laid.

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali


Re-carpet city roads with cemented tiles

City roads are in a bad condition. Allocation of Rs 100 crore is insufficient to bring roads back in pristine condition. The MC, Chandigarh, must chalk out a better plan for city roads. Roads should not be repaired or re-carpeted with coal tar. A coal-tar road is not strong enough to withstand intense summer or rainy season. A much better option is to construct roads with cemented tiles. Such roads have a life span of many years and there is no need for repeated re-carpeting.

Karan Singh Vinayak, Chandigarh


Reduce unnecessary expenditure

The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, should always remember the proverb “There is remedy for everything”. The MC was allotted lesser budget of Rs 100 for road re-carpeting. The authorities should finish incomplete road re-carpeting work first. The MC should avoid extra expenditure. It should reduce all type of allowances of councillors. The MC should collect revenue and other dues from the public with honestly.

Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali


Roads are nerves of city beautiful

The condition of roads all around the country is not worth travelling smoothly. These are full of potholes and are in dilapidated condition. Chandigarh is not an exception. Allocation of Rs 100 crore is not a small amount for road re-carpeting. The need of the hour is to do the job honesty, check quality of work and use standard material according to prescribed specification. Timely and periodical checks will keep roads smooth for traversing in our City Beautiful.

Jagdush Singh Jassal, Patiala


Save money for road re-carpeting

Roads of the City Beautiful are in bad condition, but the authorities have given only Rs 100 crore for re-carpeting. The MC should save money on study tours and spend it on re-carpeting roads. The MC needs money for renovating homes of its officials, but not for city roads. Residents are suffering as potholed roads cause accidents. Proper material should be used for road re-carpeting.

Saikrit Gulati, Chandigarh


The Administration must take a call on it. Secondly, we are moving towards building a Smart City, but failing to provide basic amenities like roads. Chandigarh Smart City Limited should not have been created separately. In fact, smart city projects should have been carried under the Urban Local Bodies Department.

Saurabh Joshi, former BJP councillor


When pits on 150 roads could not be filled in the past two years, how can we expect that they are going to re-carpet 61 stretches? The ruling BJP dispensation has failed to bring required funds from the Centre for various projects, including re-carpeting of roads. It has even failed to get funds from the UT Administration.

Yadvinder Mehta, congress leader


The road re-carperting work will soon start in the City Beautiful. We will seek additional funds from the UT Administration. We will also request the Central to Government to provide us with funds as per the fourth Delhi Finance Commission Recommendations on the basis of which the UT budget estimates have been prepared.

Raj Bala Malik, Mayor, Chandigarh


The authorities concerned have ruined the City Beautiful. All roads in the city are in a pathetic condition. Roads were never like this before. The Municipal Corporation and the Chandigarh Administration must work jointly to improve the condition of roads and make commuting easier for residents.

Swarn Kamboj, president, Teachers’ body


The Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, has failed to live up to the expectations of residents. Almost all roads in each and every sector of the City Beautiful are in bad state today. Leave aside re-carpeting, the civic body has even failed to fill potholes on various roads in the city.

Baljinder Singh Bittu, Chairman, Foswac


QUESTION

The death of three girls in a fire at a PG accommodation in Sector 32, Chandigarh, has once again exposed how owners of illegal PGs are playing with the lives of students to mint money and the failure of the authorities to check the menace. There is neither any proper record of registered/unregistered PGs in the city nor any check on violation of building and fire-safety norms. What do you think needs to be done to set things right?

Suggestions in not more than 70 words can be sent to openhouse@tribunemail.com


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