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Dug-up roads spell trouble

Guwahati, May 21: Government officials involved in the implementation of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded Guwahati Water Supply Project had claimed last month that affected roads would be re-laid before the monsoon, following public outcry on failure of contractors and workers in restoring the roads that had been dug up to lay underground water pipes in the city.

However, the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), the implementing agency, has failed to deliver on its promise, barring a few roads that had been restored to their original condition.

This has resulted in people encountering problems while travelling on these dug-up roads. Officials associated with the project claimed that the laying of additional underground water pipes, which was initially meant to continue to speed up the work, has been stalled as priority is being given to restoration of such roads before the advent of the monsoon.

The situation has turned particularly worse because of the pre-monsoon showers occurring in the city for the past few days. During the rain, the already broken lanes, which had not been properly restored, turn muddy and slippery, making it difficult for pedestrians. Drivers have to be cautious while driving on these roads.

“The lane connecting our locality with the main road had been dug up by workers almost two months ago to lay underground pipes. While the workers haphazardly refilled the portion they had dug with mud, they did not bother to even out the lane to its original position. Last week, continuous rain had turned the lane muddy and there was always a chance of people slipping. The road is also very bumpy. Once the monsoon arrives, it will be impossible to repair it,” said Aniket Ghosh, a resident of Goswami Service.

“When the lane was being dug, we had asked the workers to relay the road. But restoration was done haphazardly and the workers seemed to be in a hurry to lay the pipes than restoring the roads. As such, the entire lane has turned into a bumpy stretch. The drains in our locality are also clogged and when it rains heavily, the entire lane turns slushy,” said Biman Goswami, a resident of Chandmari.

Project director Amit Sahai said, “We have stalled the laying of underground water pipes in the city so that all the dug-up roads can be restored before the advent of the monsoon.

The contractor has been directed to complete the repairs as soon as possible.”


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