Sinking Feeling in soon-to-be Smart City – Today Live News of Surat, Gujarat
Surat: Every year, a massive amount — Rs 374 crore — is spent on construction and maintenance of Surat’s roads. But drive on the 750m Sardar Market-Sahara Darwaja stretch and you agonizingly realize that this entire chunk of taxpayers’ money has only gone down the drain.
Potholes of every size and shape at every few metre are not only back-breaking, but a proof of how the hard-earned money of citizens is dumped.
This small stretch is one of the 60 such roads — forget about the lanes and by-lanes — which have turned into commuters’ nightmare due to extensive damage caused by rains and the patchy work by contractors hired by the Surat Municipal Corporation. And, if you think driving in Ferraris, Mercedes or BMWs will be easier on these roads, you are mistaken.
This ugly road scenes are spread across the soon-to-be ‘Smart City’, which recently won accolades for executing projects under this ambitious pan-India project.
At present, SMC is making stopgap arrangement to fill up the potholes with granular material as and when the rain takes a halt. There are eight such roads in Varachha, six in Athwalines, eight in Udhna, 12 in Limbayat, 12 in Katargam, six in Rander and nine in central zone where patchwork is being done on damaged portions.According to an estimate, since the beginning of monsoon, at least 20 per cent of the total 4,000-odd km road in the city has damaged. The upper surfaces have got peeled off, resulting in potholes.
Municipal commissioner M Thennarasan said, “We have seen that maximum damage of roads is at intersections because of heavy influx of vehicles. At other places, there are damages, but it is comparatively less.”
Kharwarnagar junction at Udhna is the glaring example where influx of vehicles is very heavy at any given point of time. Even at Athwa and Rander zones, uneven surfaces at Lakeview Circle and Mora Bhagal junctions are riddled with potholes.
SMC officials chose to blame the condition on heavy downpour in short duration. Executive engineer, SMC, Jatin Desai told TOI, “When compared to previous years, the intensity of rain this time is high and in a very short duration. This has resulted in damage to the roads where upper bindings have become loose and potholes have been created.”
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