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Crumble strips & breakdown boulevards | Gurgaon News – Times of India

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Erric Ravi
Erric Ravihttps://www.gurgaontimes.co.in
Erric Ravi is an entrepreneur, speaker & the founder of Storify News and Recent News He is the Co-Founder of The Storify News Times. Forbes calls him a top influencer of Chief Marketing Officers and the world’s top social marketing talent. Entrepreneur lists him among 50 online marketing influencers to watch. Inc.com has him on the list of 20 digital marketing experts to follow on Twitter. Oanalytica named him #1 Global Content Marketing Influencer. BizHUMM ranks him as the world’s #1 business blogger.


This year, the MCG has taken departmental action against five engineers, three of them executive engineers. It has also blacklisted at least two contractors.
Entrusted with the job of keeping the city moving smoothly – the grind of maintaining a dense network of all its internal roads – keeping a check on quality has been a challenge for the corporation.It shows in the multiple vigilance probes it has initiated.


It also shows on the roads and in the daily plight of people who negotiate bumpy, dusty stretches. Deepa Unnikrishnan, a resident of Nirvana Country, says the township’s main approach road is nothing short of “a nightmare”, and yet receives no attention from the city’s civic administration. “There are these huge potholes. We have to brace ourselves when we are driving on this road. And when it rains, it gets worse,” she says.


Questions About Quality Since
April 1, when the current fiscal year began, the MCG has spent Rs 15 crore on roads, though it has a budget allocation of Rs 85 crore. Much of this is on repairs, but how long do these last? Quality is a concern echoed across sectors and colonies by residents, who believe the corporation needs to find a way to ensure contractors don’t take it for a ride.
In a large city like Gurgaon, the cycle of repairs is a continuous one. But better quality – that ensures, for instance, that a road’s surface survives several cycles of rain in a city extremely prone to waterlogging – will only make the corporation’s job easier. It will also help focus attention and budgets on streets that can no longer do with patchwork and need a proper recarpeting.
April Plaint Awaits Solution
Take, for example, Sector 45. Frustrated with inaction on broken roads, residents filed a complaint at the CM Window on April 5. The year is about to end, but nothing has changed in the sector.
“The roads here are pathetic,” says Puneet Pahwa, who heads the local RWA. “The CM Window complaint was officially closed on June 3 without addressing the problem, with the remarks that the tender process has been initiated for roads. It also said all roads of the sector do not require repair,” adds Pahwa, wondering why work has not started if the tender, as remarks on his application mentioned, had been initiated in May.
“The corporation is crippling the system of CM Window complaints by acting like this,” he says.
…They Complained In Jan
In Sector 9A, the 18- metre-wide main internal road is heavily damaged. The top layer of bituminous concrete has washed away, making the drive on it an ordeal. It’s an unending one. Residents filed a complaint with the MCG on January 25 this year. Here, too, nothing has changed.
“No action has been taken by MCG. The road is very accident-prone, especially for two-wheelers. The MCG is not even considering patchwork even though it needs to be recarpeted,” says Suraj Lalit Bhola, a local resident.
Where’s The Will?
In several other areas, residents have similar complaints. Driving on internal roads is not the most pleasant experience in places like sectors 9, 10 and 10A, 17, 38, etc. By the time the repair cycle arrives, residents fear it’ll be time for the rains, which will again inflict damage, or worse, delay the repair by another year.
“I wonder why contracts cannot be issued in such a way that road repairs are taken up across the city at once as soon as the monsoon has passed. What stops a corporation with resources from creating a mechanism that ensures this? All this needs is administrative will,” says Rupa, who has been living with her family in Sector 54 for more than 10 years.
Lapses In Advance Checks
MCG’s quality oversight mechanism has come under scrutiny on multiple occasions. Last April, it gave a contract to construct a 1.5km internal road network in Sarai Alawardi village at an estimated cost of Rs 98 lakh. It was a project neither big in scale nor complicated. But soon, the corporation began receiving complaints from locals questioning the quality of the roads being built. MCG took 12 road samples, all of which failed the test. Subsequently, after a vigilance probe, it ordered departmental action against four engineers and blacklisted the contractor.
Rules mandate visits by engineers in charge during the execution of a project and collection of samples or quality checks at the preliminary stages of construction. “I have given fresh directions to the engineering staff to ensure samples to determine road quality are taken. If the samples are taken after the work is over, it serves no purpose. The quality should be determined when work is under way so that if it is not found up to the mark, it can be dealt with at the preliminary stages,” MCG chief engineer Vishal Bansal told TOI.
Contractors Get Away
The vigilance department of the corporation started another probe in March after receiving a complaint about the quality of internal roads in Sector 10. Cracks had appeared on the roads just four months after construction, at a cost of Rs 1.1crore, was completed. Besides, the gradient took rainwater to the other side of the road instead of the stormwater drain, raising questions not just about quality but design. Private contractors often get away with faulty road designs because of lapses in checks.
In Nathupur, too, MCG found shoddy work went into building a road in 2021. The road cost the corporation Rs 2.25 crore. Two samples were sent for tests and both failed. However, the road had been built and the payment made to the contractor.
Tenders Very Slow
The tender process needs urgent reform. At present, a proposal to repair a road must clear several procedural hoops. First, an estimate is drawn up, then administrative approval is sought. Once that comes, a tender is floated and a private contractor is hired. Work on the ground begins after a work order is issued. All of this takes months, sometimes years.
For example, privately developed colonies Sushant Lok 2 and 3 were taken over by MCG in June last year. But its roads remained in derelict state till September. A work order to carpet all internal roads of the two colonies was given to a private firm by MCG in June, at a cost of Rs 3.5 crore for Sushant Lok 2 and Rs 5.8 crore for Sushant Lok 3. Work began on September 8, and so far, has covered just 1km. Why? The residents don’t know.
“There should be a check by MCG so that shortcomings are fixed. A third-party assessment of the work should be done before making the payments to ensure better quality of work,” says Mohan Chander Bhatt, a resident of Sushant Lok 2. A complaint to the MCG could be next, with Bhatt expressing concern about the quality of bitumen used so far.


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