Roads ravaged by the recent rain in many western and northern suburbs of Chennai are in shambles as the local bodies have not begun work to repair them.
The State government had recently allotted funds to the local bodies under the Special Roads Programme. The municipalities that were provided funds for relaying roads include Manali, Madhavaram and Thiruverkadu.
K.Mohana, a resident of Maduravoyal, said “Many streets have become unmotorable. Autorickshaw drivers demand exorbitant fare to travel even a short distance of two km citing the potholes on the roads.” Though the municipal authorities assured the residents that the project would start this month, there is no sign of the work so far, she added.
Elected representatives of many municipalities expressed their inability to begin the project as the contractors are awaiting dry weather. The completion of the work would stretch by a fortnight beyond the deadline of March-end.
K.Shanmugam, Maduravoyal Municipality chairman, said the government had allotted Rs.60 lakh towards laying concrete roads in areas such as Alapakkam and Perumal Koil Street where underground drainage project had been completed.
Though the contract has been awarded, the contractor is hesitant to begin work as the monsoon is not yet over, he said.
Officials of Maduravoyal and Thiruverkadu local bodies said the increase in the sand price is one of the reasons cited by the contractors for the delay in taking up the work. While the cost of one cubic foot is fixed at Rs.15 as per the schedule of rates of Public Works Department, the market price is as much as Rs.50.
Sources at Madhavaram municipality said though the government wants that the work to begin this month, the contractor is delaying the launch as dry surface is needed for blacktopping. Otherwise, the quality would suffer.
D.Shanmugam, Madhavaram municipality chairman, said the local body would try to complete the work within the stipulated time. A panel of former engineers of PWD and Highways department would monitor the quality of roads.
Officials of Ambattur municipality said though work order was issued for project worth Rs.1.25 crore to carry out patchwork in 150 roads, it has not begun in many areas. Patchwork carried out in some areas was not of much use owing to rains. The State government fund would be allotted next month as the underground drainage work was under way.