Commuters heading to the town after crossing the Manipuram RoB would notice a gaping hole in the middle of the road leading to the Bus Station. If the pot hole filled road tests one’s driving skill, the pebble filled dusty patches are a test of the endurance of the wheels.
The one story that often comes to mind when talking of roads in Guntur was about former Governor Kumudben Joshi’s trip to the town many years ago. Ms. Joshi was jolted out of her sleep after her car hit a pit in the middle of the road. She turned towards the driver and asked him if they had arrived in Guntur. She then jokingly quipped that Guntur should be called ‘Guntaluru.’ Roads in the town have taken a pounding after the recent spell of rains. Driving on these roads has become a nightmarish experience to many. Minor accidents caused by sudden braking are not uncommon.
The town has a road network of more than 600 km. and the roads in the town are built and maintained by both the Roads & Buildings Department and the Guntur Municipal Corporation.
The R& B maintains major roads like the one leading to NTR Bus Station Complex, Etukuru Road, Nallacheruvu Road, Palnadu Road. The GMC maintains internal roads connecting colonies in the town. Most schools and colleges are located in Vidya Nagar, Lakshmipuram and Chandramouli Nagar and bad internal road conditions in these areas is resulting in traffic jams.
Commuters blame the civic body for its callousness in maintaining the roads. “The GMC has done away with periodic maintenance of roads. It is becoming a herculean task to drive on these roads,” says Siva Prasad, a security manager at a retail store.
Civic engineers insist that the GMC has been maintaining the roads regularly. “The GMC has sanctioned Rs.60 lakh this quarter for repair and filling of roads. Once the tenders are approved, the Engineering Department will complete the task within a month,” said Superintendent Engineer, GMC, Adiseshu.