Monday, 30th October 2017

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More than a month's work done in 3 days

A flyover, a bridge and a long stretch of Diamond Harbour Road were repaired within three days in a city where it usually takes more than a month to repair a single battered road.

By Subhajoy Roy in Calcutta
  • Published 15.08.18
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Calcutta: A flyover, a bridge and a long stretch of Diamond Harbour Road were repaired within three days in a city where it usually takes more than a month to repair a single battered road.

Once a broken stretch of road is identified, a junior engineer prepares an estimate, which has to travel through four levels before the patchwork is approved. This procedure itself takes close to a month, engineers of the public works department (PWD) said.

"The junior engineer prepares the estimate and sends it to the executive engineer, who scrutinises it and sends it to the superintending engineer, who again scrutinises it and sends it to the chief engineer," the PWD engineer said.

The chief engineer sends the file to the secretary of the department for financial approval. A tender is then floated and, in keeping with government norms, contractors are given seven to 21 days to bid for the work.

But in case of a VIP visit, a spot tender is sometimes called to instantly choose the contractor for the work. "The contractors are called to the spot and there is instant bidding. The lowest bidder is given the contract on the spot," the engineer explained.

At times, officials request a contractor to carry out immediate repairs with a promise of payment once the work is done. "A contractor who has been working with PWD for years knows he won't be duped," said the engineer.

Metro had reported on Tuesday that Taratala flyover and Majerhat bridge were repaired between Thursday night and Friday morning, ahead of chief minister Mamata Banerjee's visit to Behala Manton on Tuesday.

None would say how the roads were repaired so promptly. A senior PWD engineer said work had begun on Diamond Harbour Road several days ago. "It's not that we repaired the roads only because the chief minister was coming. We got a few dry nights and decided to fix the Taratala flyover, the Majerhat bridge and stretches of Diamond Harbour Road," he said.

But several other roads across Calcutta continue to lie battered and broken.