CHENNAI: Even as Mayor Saidai S Duraisamy spoke highly of the Chennai Corporation’s achievements this year, it took only a single bout of rainfall to expose the ineffectiveness of the civic body when it comes to providing basic infrastructure facilities.
With the city lashed by off-season rain over the last two days, roads in the city have taken a beating. The fact that many of these roads were not re-laid or repaired after the monsoon wound down sticks out. At Vembuli Amman Koil Street in Virugambakkam, residents were left fuming after a road which was re-laid just 48 hours before, developed cracks and began to wear off. Besides, the re-laying was done without scraping the previous layer.
“The road was in proper condition and there was no need for re-laying it. We had no idea that the Corporation had planned to re-lay this stretch. But if they did take up the job, then this is the best example of shoddy execution,” says A Narayanan, a resident. Senior officials maintain that they advise lower rung officials to not permit contractors to take up road laying or repair works just before rains. Obviously, it falls on deaf ears, they say. Besides, residents demand that the Corporation consult the resident welfare associations before taking up road works.
Virugambakkam is not an exception. Even crucial VIP passage ways like the Sardar Patel Road have been left unattended over the past few months. The portion of the road right opposite Raj Bhavan was damaged even before the monsoon set in. To make matters worse, sketchy patchwork done after the monsoon resulted in a bumpy ride right from Anna University up to the Velachery Main Road intersection. EVK Sampath Salai, where the office of the Commissioner of Police is located, was damaged during the monsoon but was not repaired.
Yet another example of poor patchwork is the intersection of G N Chetty Road and Dr B Narasimhan Salai. That portion was patched up only weeks before, but has now developed huge potholes.
At the Corporation council meet held on Monday, when councillors questioned about the poor condition of city roads, Mayor Duraisamy promised to have all bad roads patched up or re-laid by March or April 2015.