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80 roads on repair roster

- RMC to spend Rs 4.77cr, but capital can sulk over selective revamp

A smooth ride here, a bumpy ride there.

Commuting will be a curious paradox for Ranchi residents in 2013, with civic mandarins deciding to repair only 80 roads criss-crossing the capital, leaving more than 900 others to fate at least for now.

The cash-strapped Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) will spend Rs 4.77 crore out of an annual government allocation of Rs 5 crore to revamp the link roads that are in very bad shape in Upper Bazar, Lalpur, Kanke Road, Morabadi, Harmu, Madhukam, Pee Pee Compound, Tharpakhna and a few other areas.

“Most of the 80 roads will be repaired by April next year. Those that stretch longer will be ready by May,” said RMC public relations officer Naresh Sinha.

The civic body on Thursday floated tenders, inviting construction companies to bid for the jobs. The agencies will be finalised on January 12, 2013.

More than 1,000 roads and a large number of streets come under the RMC’s jurisdiction. However, the civic body always cited funds crunch whenever there was a question of maintenance or repair.

Some six months ago, the RMC prepared a Rs 35-crore proposal for revamp of various city roads and sent it to the urban development department. The latter, however, did not act on the proposal and instead released the annual road repair allocation of Rs 5 crore. Hence, several city arteries will have to wait for a year before the RMC receives a fresh allocation for repair work.

“We have not been given any extra funds for road repair apart from what is routine. So, we can repair only a few roads. Commuters elsewhere will have to wait for,” said A.S. Deol, chairman of the engineering and public works cell of RMC.

Before the civic body elections, the task of repairing city roads lay with the cash-rich Ranchi Regional Development Authority (RRDA). “But now, the roads belong to the RMC and, therefore, we do not have funds set aside for repair,” said H.L. Mandal, the secretary of RRDA.

Some of the roads that are in bad condition, but won’t be part of the repair roster are Udhab Babu Street, Joratalab Road, the link from Hill View Nursing Home to Don Bosco and the roads from Marwari College (girls) to Nagarmal Modi Seva Sadan, Marwari College (boys) to Hindpiri, Mission Chowk to Karbala Chowk and Gudri Chowk to Azad Basti.

Jagdish Singh, a resident of Bariatu, expressed his dismay over this selective RMC revamp. “Many thoroughfares may be in better condition, but they are heavily encroached upon. Other roads are in poor shape. Hence, commuting is a nightmare and will continue to be so unless repair is extensive,” he said.

Aloka Kujur, a novice at the wheel, said she was glad some roads were being revamped. “I have just learnt driving and was scared to travel alone. The RMC’s move is welcome. But, I have to be careful in places where repair is wanting,” said the resident of Tharpakhna.

Should the state government release more funds to RMC?
Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com