IN A MESS – Confusion mars road work

Agencies Fail To Arrive At Consensus, Camp Residents Irked
Confusion among various agencies involved in road restoration works in Pune Cantonment have left the residents and commuters fuming.The charge of roads in the cantonment area is divided among three agencies, including the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB), Military Engineering Services (MES) and the public works department (PWD). Digging charges need to be paid to the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) and restoration of roads depend either on the agency dispensing the work, or the custodians of the roads, but no one seems to be able to arrive at a consensus regarding which agency is responsible for the restoration.

While most of the road length is held by the PCB (around 48km), around 22km of road are under the custody of the MES, and about 5km -the length of Solapur RoadShankarsheth Road -is held by the state PWD. Any permission to dig up the streets to lay utilities, however, must be sought only from the PCB and all charges must also be paid to the board, the rates of which were roughly doubled last year.

The duty to restore roads after the laying of utilities is often left uncertain as the agencies often fail to agree on which one of the three should carry out restoration works, and cover expenses.

This situation has caused multiple roads in various parts of Camp to remain in poor conditions. Plans to restore some of these roads are still being drawn up, some of which were dug up many months or even a year ago.

“Some of the roads, in the Cantonment area are in a pathetic condition. I remember them being dug up for things like laying cables and water pipes, but only a few of those ro ads have been restored. Even the quality of the restoration work is not satisfactory. There has been little levelling of roads. And the condition of some roads like the Solapur Road has been terrible for a long time,“ said MM Syed, an MG Road resident.

Plans have also been hindered by a poor response from contractors to tenders. The PCB said it has a Rs 1.5-crore plan to restore road cuttings and widen them, but it only received a single response to phased tenders that the board had floated. Ultimately , it had to be accepted, as it was deemed by the authorities to be within feasible rates.

Board officials, though, claim that multiple agencies “never“ get in the way of road restorations. “There is a board of officers from the MES, the garrison engineers, and the PCB to decide of road restorations are repairs. All expenses and plans are coordinated. For other agencies, like the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), which is carrying out digging at the Shankarsheth Road, they are asked to make a financial commitment to restore the road“, said an official from PCB’s engineering department.

Source : TOI