Prioritise road reconstruction, former MP tells government

Prepare a scientific roadmap for reconstruction: Ramadass

M. Ramadass, former MP, has urged the government to prioritise road reconstruction given the deterioration of surfaces in several parts of the city and suburbs.

In a statement, Mr. Ramadass said poor roads have become a common sight in areas such as the Boulevard, residential suburbs, link roads, connecting Cuddalore and Villuppuram and rural roads. In many places, residents and elected representatives have started agitating urging the government to relay the roads.

Mr. Ramadass called upon the government to improve the situation, beginning with an introspection on why and how the roads constructed with crores of investment got damaged within a short span of time.

While it is claimed that the average time for a road to begin wear is five years after which it requires repairs, in Puducherry, there are instances where newly laid roads have got damaged within a month or so. For instance, the 500 metre asphalt road founded in Mettu Street at Thengathittu was impaired within a fortnight and deep holes had appeared within three weeks in the newly constructed Nallavadu bridge, he said.

Mr. Ramadass said a combination of low quality material used for construction, corruption and heavy traffic on the roads could be attributed to the swift wear and tear of the roads before the average life time.

The government should be sensitive to the issue of bad roads as they cause accidents, spinal problems to the travelling public, especially, the elderly, leading to hospitalisation, increase in travel time and quick wear and tear of vehicles. These problems would become acute during monsoon when the roads would be ridden with potholes filled with rain water, the former MP said.

He urged the government to prepare a comprehensive and scientific roadmap for road reconstruction and its upkeep. The resource available in the Smart City Scheme and the MLA Area Development Fund may be utilised for urban roads.

The funds available under the National Rural Road Development Schemes, Puducherry Budget (2021-22) outlay, earmarked for rural development (including Special component Plan), and MLA Area Development Fund may be garnered for constructing rural roads. A Road Reconstruction Committee, under the chairmanship of the Minister for Public Works, may be formed to comprehensively monitor the expenditure and the work in progress, Mr. Ramadass suggested.

“Quality and sustainability should be the guiding principles and there should be absolutely no scope for corruption. The government should realise that the taxpaying citizens of Puducherry have a legal right to well maintained roads and it should be the prime duty of the government to provide good roads to its people,” he said.

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