Some of the main thoroughfares are being dug up despite the ban
HYDERABAD: As if battered roads are not enough, citizens are forced to deal with trenches on roadsides due to indiscriminate road cutting and incomplete road widening. Ironically, GHMC responsible for maintenance and road lying has given permission for these cuttings.
According permissions for road cuttings has become a good revenue source for the financially beleaguered civic body and the rates too have been hiked this year. Nearly 500 km of road length have been allowed to be cut by various agencies, government and private, for laying cables and pipelines last year.
This year 100 km of road length has been dug so far. Interestingly, road digging has been going on in several places even when Commissioner S.P. Singh has declared a ban on giving such permissions during the monsoon period of June to November.
In Banjara Hills, Ameerpet, Mehdipatnam and parts of the old city, some of the main thoroughfares are being dug up despite the ban. GHMC officials feign ignorance over the matter stating that digging work could be based on permissions obtained before the rain. GHMC also seems to be helpless but to spend crores of rupees each year towards for maintenance of existing road network of nearly 7,000 km. For this year’s budget, a whopping Rs. 495 crore has been allotted for roads development. While most of it is earmarked for new roads or widening, it’s inexplicable why all roads have to be carpeted afresh each year. “Incessant rains wash away the bitumen layer,” is the oft given explanation. Incidentally, contractors are supposed to maintain a road stretch for three years but there is no record of it being done or how many times a particular road has been carpeted.
Incomplete road widening, while leading to traffic bottlenecks (Begumpet), has made it pretty dangerous for commuters what with debris lying on the sides and uneven stretches with sharp edges (Sangeet to Tarnaka). “There are no streetlights on roads awaiting widening. Safe return home is no longer guaranteed with cables too dangling dangerously,” avers Subramanium, a commuter.