Like the city’s roads, the NH-9 has also taken a beating due to rains and is awaiting repairs

The National Highway-9 leaving the city for Vijayawada bustles with unusual traffic on a Sunday too, notwithstanding the threat posed by the ongoing agitations in the coastal Andhra. Reason, as popularly assumed, is not the increased vehicle traffic, but drastically reduced speeds!

Those driving two-wheelers and four-wheelers must keep the clutch down constantly, as speeds have to be continually manoeuvred even after fairly crossing the city traffic on this stretch. Rough patches are frequent where the BT has given away or the path turns crusty and even undulating, scuttling the speeds drastically. Worse is the condition of the same highway towards Kukatpally, with special emphasis on the stretch from Moosapet up to JNTU. The pothole-ridden stretch gets especially bumpy when it rains and the craters are filled with water.

The NH-9, major portion of its stretch through the city recently re-laid by the Hyderabad Metro Rail, is host to heavy traffic of both city commuters and outbound vehicles. According to official figures, the highway leading to Machilipatnam on one side and Pune on the other, witnesses 60,000 to one lakh PCU (passenger car units) per hour.

It is interesting to note that though the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is largely responsible for the status of national highways everywhere, it is the State’s Roads and Buildings (R&B) department which is accountable for the stretches as far as they pass through the city. The department has a separate wing for the national highways throughout the State, of which the city constitutes but only an insignificant part.

R&B officials inform that the national highways in the city for which the department is responsible amount to 83 kilometres which is not much to say of. Ten more kilometres on Hyderabad-Srisailam stretch are due to be added though. Other portions include parts of the Hyderabad-Bangalore, Hyderabad-Warangal highways. Incidentally, the highways under R&B start from the core of the city, and end much beyond the city limits.

“While resurfacing needs tendering process, filling of potholes and patchworks are routinely done by the department on the highways. We have information from the field level that potholes on the national highways stand filled,” says a highly placed official from the department.

However, with only Rs.17 crore spent on the repairs throughout the State, one can very well understand the quality of work done.

While resurfacing works need time and an end to the monsoons, officials inform that tenders have already been called for the same, and the work will be done in due course of time.

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