Badly battered and thoroughly washed out. That's what the roads are in the wake of the rains that have been lashing the city for last several days.

If roads were to be a reflection of the quality of life that a city has on offer, Hyderabad does not score high on the parameter. Grandiose announcements, visionary statements and huge funds notwithstanding, the roads continue to be a hell that citizens are forced to live with.

Rain has left the pitiable condition of the roads thoroughly exposed and in the process, also the technology that goes in laying these roads and commitment of those expected to ensure quality. If conditions of the road stretches are to be put in nutshell, then in most parts it is just abysmal.

Peeled off tar, gravel spread out, potholes all over and craters at many places makes the driving experience not just irksome but also dangerous at times. Whether it is Madhapur, the much touted symbol of modern infrastructure, or dingy lanes of Dabeerpura, conditions remain just pathetic. Some stretches have gone worse. Between Punjagutta and Ameerpet, a commercial stretch and a major nerve centre, it is a sad reflection of apathy on part of those responsible for the upkeep. And to say that there are roads in Bahadurpura area is an understatement.

The roads or what is left of them are seen only in patches. Otherwise it is potholes and an undulating terrain all the way. Heading from Puranapul towards the Zoo park one cant' help but swear under the breath. Everywhere one encounters puddles of water. Riding on the loose gravel from the battered road is a bone crunching experience. The stretch before the Bahadurpura police station has totally caved in. At the nearby petrol bunk the manhole covers are removed and kept aside posing further danger to road users.

The stretch from Kalapathar police station to the Tadban junction is in pretty bad shape. “This road leads to the Mir Alam Idgah and a large number of people will be using it to attend the Id prayers. Authorities ought to repair it on urgent basis,” says Basheeruddin, a shopkeeper. The road towards Kishanbagh is also washed out and one feels like riding a camel while moving on it. Emerging centres of the city such as Kukatpally, Nizampet, Vivekananda Nagar, Housing Board too have thrown up roads that are hardly motorable. In Vivekananda Nagar, between Corporate Bank and Reliance Fresh store, even the adventurous will hesitate to negotiating the stretch. Same is the scenario at Nizampet road and between Fresh store to Food World, a real harsh terrain is on offer for the motorists.

While the national highway beyond Dilsukhnagar is without much damage except at a few locations, the least said about the stretch from Nalgonda Crossroads and beyond, the better. The path from the crossroads towards Koti is proving to be a nightmare for the commuters, especially two-wheeler riders. With hardly any black topping remaining now, the road with extremely undulating surface leaves a harrowing experience on the spine.

“The stretch on Chaderghat causeway is particularly battered by the rains. I am taking a detour via Amberpet to reach my Chikkadpally shop,” says Vidyasagar, an electronics dealer from Malakpet. At Habsiguda, a spell of rain is all that's needed for the road to turn into layers of stones as here lies the terminus for lorries carrying huge loads. The road from here till Tarnaka has been laid several times in the last one year but it has also been dug up several times reflecting lack of coordination.

It's a back-breaking journey on the stretch thanks to the potholes and strips of dug up road, particularly at the junction that leads into Street No.1 and Nagarjuna Nagar. Traffic invariably comes to halt at this junction creating jams and ironically, it is hardly 100 meters away from the Mayor's residence.

The road widening taken up a few years back at Habsiguda X roads is not completed for reasons unknown and the road created after demolition of buildings is yet to be laid which means nearly half of the road is unused.

(With inputs from J.S. Iftekhar, R. Ravinkanth Reddy and V. Swathi)

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