Officials review electoral rolls at RMC on Tuesday. The mayor poll is an excuse for civic bosses to shrug off road responsibilities. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Drive. Snarl. Stop.
Hassle-free commuting is and will remain a distant dream for Ranchi this monsoon and beyond, thanks to Ranchi Municipal Corporation’s consistent inefficiency when it comes to resolving the capital city’s civic woes.
A 2km stretch of Kutchery Road near the district collectorate has turned into a cesspool because of choked drains overflowing for two months now. Sewer water is also flooding the adjoining Jaipal Singh Stadium, the city’s oldest host of sports, and scuttling its makeover plan.
“A month and a half ago, we had brought the matter to the notice of the road construction department (which is in charge of drainage). The stadium flanks the road and remains waterlogged. We are unable to continue with renovation work,” claimed deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya.
But the RMC itself cannot be absolved of all blame. It is learnt that section engineer of the civic body S. Kapardar, who is co-ordinating stadium renovation and is supposed to deal with road construction officials on behalf of the RMC, has not made proactive moves either.
Last year, the civic body had mooted a proposal to revamp the stadium at a cost of Rs 3.38 crore. According to the blue print, prepared by city architect Chadda and Associates, the football ground, administrative building and pavilion for players are to be given a makeover.
Besides, the RMC has planned a gym and a garden on the sprawling nine acres. A vending zone is also a part of beautification and renovation drive so that encroachment of the artery, which links Radium Road to Albert Ekka Chowk, ends. Apart from Jaipal Singh Stadium and the district collectorate, Kutchery Road also leads to the civil court and Mahatma Gandhi Town Hall.
Engineer-in-chief of road construction Ram Naresh Raman admitted choked drains. “We have received complaints. People throw plastic bags and other waste in the drains,” he said, hinting at the need for mass awareness to inculcate civic sense. He added that they would launch a cleaning drive soon. “Hopefully, in a week.”
Caught in this lack of co-ordination between the urban local body and government department, people are the worst sufferers.
“It is difficult to breathe here. The stink is unbearable. Constant waterlogging has also damaged the road. Earlier, we occupied the roadside for our small businesses. Now, we have been forced to leave the place. How can a VIP road remain so neglected? The administration must act now. The situation won’t be as easily reversible once monsoon hits the state,” said vendor Vinod Kumar.
In the absence of rehabilitation of vendors, encroachment remains an annoying reality and if RMC insiders are to be believed, free roads are distant dream.
“First, there was the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections. Now, the mayoral poll is in the offing. After that, there will be Assembly elections in November-December. The civic bosses will explore these opportunities to hide their inefficiency. Had they been serious, repair and revamp of roads would be over before June,” said an RMC employee.