Chennai

Why aren’t you laying plastic roads, asks HC

The HC questioned the Corporation’s rationale for continuing to opt for bitumen roads. File.

The HC questioned the Corporation’s rationale for continuing to opt for bitumen roads. File.  

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Court expresses dismay over city roads riddled with potholes and craters

The Madras High Court on Friday questioned the reason for Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) continuing to opt for bitumen roads instead of laying plastic roads which had been proven to be more durable and long lasting.

The court also expressed dismay over most of the roads in the city riddled with potholes and craters.

Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and R. Hemalatha broached the subject during the hearing of a case filed by Arappor Iyakkam, a non governmental organisation, seeking a Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC) probe into award of tenders by GCC for laying roads on bus routes and constructing storm water drains.

Poor quality

In his submissions, the petitioner’s counsel V. Suresh told the court that several irregularities including rigging, tender fixing, collusion, cartelisation of contractors and award of tenders at very high costs than the prevailing market rates had led to very poor quality of storm water drains as well as roads having been laid across the city.

Concurring with him, the judges wondered why the corporation was not utilising a better and proven technology of laying plastic roads. “What for is the technology available, if you are not going to use it,” the senior judge in the Bench asked and pointed out that even the roads near the residence of judges and ministers were in bad shape.

“Good roads are a basic requirement for all, be it the rich or the poor. Cars, bikes as well as bicycles require good roads. If even that basic requirement is not fulfilled by the corporation, we do not know what to say,” Justice Sathyanarayanan lamented before directing the DVAC to submit a status report on its preliminary enquiry by February 19.

Additional Public Prosecutor C. Ayyapparaj told the court that the DVAC had obtained sanction for the preliminary enquiry, on the basis of a complaint lodged by the NGO in November 2018, from the Chief Secretary and commenced the probe on March 11, 2019.

He agreed to file the status report before the court in a sealed cover after a month.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 2:13:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/why-arent-you-laying-plastic-roads-asks-hc/article30538847.ece

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