Tribune News Services
Patiala, December 6
Yesterday, The Tribune highlighted the problems dug-up roads have been causing to commuters — they complain of bumpy rides and exposure to dust pollution.
The roads were dug up six months ago to lay a 24x7 canal-based drinking water pipeline. It has come to light that the file seeking a revised estimate for the construction of roads has been awaiting approval of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board for over two months.
The construction work was allotted to a contractor for Rs 342 crore, out of which Rs 16.33 crore was meant for the restoration of the roads after laying the pipeline. Keeping in view the provision of Detail Notice Inviting Tender (DNIT), the company constructed roads in Tripuri and in BML Colony earlier this year, around February. But these roads did not last long and got badly damaged.
Sources in the Water Supply Department said the civic body had directed the construction company as well as the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board to reconstruct the roads in May. After these directions, it was revealed that, as per the DNIT, the length of the bitumen road was supposed to be 78 km, that of the cement concrete (CC) road around 46 km and interlocking tiles were to be laid on nearly 187 km.
But the actual length of the bitumen road turned out to be 215 km, whereas the actual length of the road with interlocking tiles was merely 62 km and the CC road was 24.6 km long. On the basis of the actual work undertaken, the construction company sought a revised estimate for constructing a better quality road. After this, it was decided that the company would construct around 116 km of bitumen road, 62 km of interlocking tile road and 22 km of CC road.
A meeting was held on September 19 regarding this under the chairmanship of the MC Commissioner. The meeting included all the engineering staff of the MC, and supervising engineers.
During the meeting, the MC directed the Water Supply Department and the construction company to restore these roads to the existing specifications. It was also decided to send this case to the higher authorities for a change in the specification of bitumen roads and for the addition of interlocking tiles (80mm and 100 mm) for approval so that these roads could be restored.
It was also decided at the meeting that the balance scope of bitumen roads could be constructed either by the MC using its own funds, or permission could be given by the authority concerned to cover the scope from the provisional sum of Rs 20 crore already assigned to this project.
It was also stated that the MC elections are near and there is resentment among the public because of the inconvenience caused by the poor roads. Therefore, the roads must be restored on an urgent basis.
An official said, “We had directed the corporation to take immediate interim measures along with the XENs; a strip of interlocking tiles, to be laid for the time being, was one of the solutions proposed by the technical experts.”
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