Want to lodge a complaint about damaged roads? Then the answer is: “Bad roads fall under a guarantee period and contractors have been asked to repair them at their own expense.” In fact, this is the stock reply given by civic officials and corporators whenever anyone approaches them with a complaint about damaged roads. Surprisingly, most of the roads will be repaired by the civic body itself though many of them come under the guarantee period.
According to a report obtained from the road and building committee of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), there are 13 stretches in the west zone which have been damaged. Six of them would be repaired by the AMC road project and the rest by contractors as they fall under the guarantee period. Similarly, in the new west zone, 21 roads, with an area of 34,300 sq m are damaged and all of them would be repaired by the AMC.
“All these roads in the new west zone are under a guarantee period. But, due to digging work by the water project department, resurfacing will also be done by it. And, as far as roads in other zones are concerned, the contractors would be asked to repair them as they fall under the guarantee period,” said Kantibhai Patel, chairman of the road and building committee.
In the east zone, too, a total of four roads were damaged in Mahavirnagar, Rajpur, Rakhiyal and Viratnagar wards. They, too, will be repaired by the AMC.
However, in north and south zones, the scenario is quite different as many roads have to be repaired by the contractors. In the south zone, of the four roads damaged, three would be repaired by contractors while the damaged road from CTM to community hall, a 700-m stretch, would be repaired by the road project department of the AMC. In the north zone, of the 10 stretches damaged, only one road from Maya cinema to Kotarpur crossing does not fall under the guarantee period and would be repaired by AMC while all the remaining roads would be repaired by contractors.
Assuring citizens about the repair work, Patel said the work would be done after Navratri. This means that the city will have to wait for another fortnight before AMC begins work.
However, the AMC opposition, Congress, is confident that no repair work would be done. “Although many roads are covered by a guarantee, contractors have just not repaired them for years and ultimately, AMC has to bear the brunt.
Only the major roads are resurfaced just to keep up the charade. And, many internal roads are neglected by the contractors despite being ordered by the AMC to repair them,” said Surendra Baxi, former leader of the opposition in the civic body.
“Many a time, the commissioner even recommends that the contractors be blacklisted. But the standing committee does not approve of it due to the political connections enjoyed by the contractors,” claimed Baxi.