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Where re-laying precedes digging

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COMMON PROBLEM: A main road being dug up for cable work in the city. Good roads turn least motorable in the absence of a coordinated approach among agencies providing different amenities. Photo: M. Periasamy
COMMON PROBLEM: A main road being dug up for cable work in the city. Good roads turn least motorable in the absence of a coordinated approach among agencies providing different amenities. Photo: M. Periasamy

K.V. Prasad

Multiple agency control over services plays havoc on people

COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore Corporation or the Department of Highways re-lays a road. Soon, it is dug for laying a telephone cable or to erect electric poles and the stretch turns a mess. This is a very common sight across the city where agencies providing various amenities work without coordination and the public suffer.

Many main and sub-roads in the city have borne the brunt of such a lack of co-ordination among the agencies.

Pits of all sizes and shapes devour road users.

While this is treated as just another civic issue, it was pointed out as a major impediment to development during a World Bank team's visit in 1998.

Industrial zone

The Bank had identified the city for a City Corporate Plan going by Coimbatore's stature as an industrial zone.

Apart from mooting private bodies' participation in creating infrastructure, the plan stressed provision of all services by a single agency - the Corporation.

Coimbatore's case was found difficult to accept under the plan as power supply, transport and telecommunications came under different agencies.

The Bank said everything - right from sewage disposal to transport - should come under the Corporation.

Coordination

The industry here too sounded willing to be part of such an exercise until everyone, including the civic body, realised that eliminating multiple agency control may take a long time to happen.

But, the minimum people expect in the city is coordination among the Corporation, telecom agencies, water authority and electricity board while ripping roads apart.

"There must be total coordination among these agencies to ensure that provision of one service does not disrupt another," says the vice-president of Citizens' Voice Club, C.M. Jeyaram.

"But, it is better if the affairs of the city are brought under one nodal agency."

Says the Corporation's North Zone Chairman, P. Rajkumar: "Multiple agency control impedes the Corporation's repair works. Repairs to a leaking water line on a highway will have to wait for days for the sanction of the State or the National Highways to dig their roads."

All the roads within the city limits must be under the control of the Corporation.

The Corporation wants to take over power supply in the city from the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, the North Zone Chairman said.

"It was once under the Corporation's control."

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