Fast-paced development and expansion of the city have seen the roads being neglected
Time was when it was a joy to drive a vehicle or take a ride on the roads of the city. The then Municipal Corporation of Visakhapatnam took care regarding the road and every important road and inner roads are maintained well.
But the fast-paced development and expansion of the city have seen the roads being neglected. For many years, Vizagites have been witnessing the roads getting damaged or long stretches of them becoming useless thanks to private telecom companies laying their cables, underground drainage scheme started by the then MCV and works on a larger scale taken up for laying of pipes for drinking water and the underground drainage scheme under the JNNURM. People are happy that huge sums of money is being spent on drinking water supply and UGD and other schemes but they could not understand why the roads dug up for the purpose are not put back into shape. The explanation offered is that a trench filled up after laying a pipe takes time for the earth to settle down before the road is blacktopped again. The settling process takes some months and of late the GVMC is spreading a layer of cement-sand mix along the filled-up trench. Not even spatula is used to spread the cement-sand mix and the look of it indicates that some piece of wood or palms is used since this part of the road is very rough underfoot. Before this crude method is adopted the road is left with huge pot holes, long uneven stretches and huge clouds of dust rise whenever a four-wheeler or a heavy vehicle passes by.
The latest case of a road giving nightmares to people is the stretch on the Sankara Matham road in Dwaraka Nagar. Residents on either side of the road keep their doors closed, the shopkeepers take precautions to avoid the dust while those on the vehicles struggle to avoid potholes and uneven surfaces. After a half a kilometre on a plain road after this worst stretch, and as soon as one turns left after Diamond Park to go towards Dabagardens, a large pothole in front of the Sai Rama parlour that was not properly filled poses another danger. Often it is observed that women pillion riders get down from the two-wheeler near the potholes and ditches and climb the vehicle again after the man somehow negotiates the hurdle. Such worse conditions prevailed on the Sangam-Sarat junction-Ambedkar statue (Dabagardens) road for a very long time in the past and the people were lucky that the GVMC repaired this road to an extent. The GVMC would do well to explain to people the procedure of filling up the trenches. It seems as if the authorities, after pushing of the earth and sand into the trench, are leaving it to pedestrians and vehicles to level.
Almost in every road we can see the earth caving in on the edge of an UDG manhole, because the filling up of trenches and the space around a manhole is not done properly.