Chandigarh, August 4
Even four years after 13 UT villages have merged with the Municipal Company, basic facilities continue to slip.
With road resurfacing work yet to be started, most of these are either badly broken or unpaved, giving commuters a bumpy ride. On the other hand, work on the construction of stormwater drainage, sewerage and water pipes continues at a steady pace, rendering most roads unusable.
Part of the road is occasionally excavated, but never repaired, with large potholes. A deadline must be set. —Manoj Lubana, resident of Kishangarh
The work on the construction of sewerage, drainage and water pipes is almost complete. Repetition follows. —Anindita Mitra, MC Commissioner
Residents of Kishangarh have been undergoing the ordeal for a long time. “Let alone driving or cycling, even walking is a challenge on the village road. Part of the road is occasionally excavated, but never repaired, with large potholes. People are tired of this. A deadline must be set. Don’t people living in villages have a right to a better life?” says Manoj Lubana, a resident of Kishangarh, who is also chairman of the city youth congress. The same is the case with Khuda Lahora, where the residents have a slow work rate.
Gurminder Singh, an activist, complains: “The pipeline construction work in our village has been delayed because the tender process was recently cancelled. It was previously postponed because the MC had no idea of the land beneath it after the merger. Today, the roads in Punjab villages are much better than those in Chandigarh. These have not been put back in 15-20 years. It is now further postponed due to ongoing work.”
Three-time Daria sarpanch and former Pendu Sangharsh Committee chairman Gurpreet Singh Happy believes responsibility should be taken for delays. “The MC has not included areas outside the ‘lal dora’. Roads have been excavated there over the past six months. During the monsoon, water accumulates and people face a foul odor. It is also a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Moreover, it seems that no responsibility has been placed on contractors, who work at will,” he says.
“The villages were better off under panchayats. There has been no development. Instead, we have to pay 30% sewerage and business property tax, while we don’t get any extra amenities,” he adds.
For their part, MC officials blame a lack of funds when the villages were notified for merger with the public body in November 2018. Only in March last year, Rs 50 crore was released for village development by the UT administration. After that, the construction of the pipeline started.
“In addition, the UT administration made the MC wait a year with the announcement that they would carry out the road works before transferring the bill to the company,” says an official.
The administration released Rs 15.85 crore for road repair/upgrade in June this year. Anindita Mitra, MC Commissioner, says: “Some of the work on the construction of sewerage, stormwater drainage and water pipes is over, while the rest is almost finished. All these works go through the tendering procedure. As for the roads, the recladding cannot begin until the aforementioned works are completed. There is no point in excavating roads again once they have been passed on.”
The MC has yet to start tendering for roads. Road works in the villages are expected to start around October.
Status of development projects
Construction of drainage, sewerage and water pipes is underway
Recoating of roads will start as soon as previous work is completed
22 villages under MC
13 under UT Admn merged with MC on November 30, 2018 Behlana | Raipur Khurd | Raipur Kalan | Makhan Majra | Daria | Mauli Jagran | Kishangarh | Kaimbwala | Khuda Ali Sher | Khuda Jassu | Khuda Lahora | Sarangpur | Dhanas
09 already below MC limits Buterla | Badheri | Attawa | Palsora | Maloya | Dadu Majra | office | Kajheri | hello majra