Fresh Mehli – Shoghi bypass tarring washes away in 2 months, road in tatters, apple transportation worse hit – Pictures
CM Virbhadra Singh is right about the HPPWD. People won’t agree more that it is run by contractors. Mehali-Shoghi road is the new candidate contesting in the list of poorest quality asphalting work ever.
SHIMLA- A resident of Shimla sent us some images showing horrible condition of newly tarred Mehli-Shoghi bypass road that would shock people at the impunity with which government departments and contractors are collectively onto looting the state and fooling the public openly in an unacceptable and shameless manner.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was absolutely correct in scolding and blaming Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department for deliberately indulging in profit making game with private contractors during his visit to his former assembly segment Rohru on July 4 and 5.
His exact words from a three minute video were:
कामचोर PWD वाले ठेकेदार को नहीं चलते, ठेकेदार PWD वालों को चलाते है! यह ठेका काम करने को नहीं लेते, सर्कार को लूटने के लिए लेतें हैं !
People won’t agree more. He is right that the HPPWD is run by contractors. However, he seemed to have forgotten that he himself holds the department of HPPWD. Such display of impunity isn’t possible without protection from government because these roads easily clear quality check inspections despite being completely unworthy. Apart from his apparent failure in Theog-Hatkoti-Rohru road construction, the capital Shimla is also facing, more or less, the same situation. Mehali-Shoghi road is the new candidate contesting in the list of poorest quality asphalting work ever.
Mehli-Shoghi bypass was tarred a couple of months ago just before the arrival of monsoon and now it is in a horribly tattered state.
The repaving has come out in pieces and gravel is lying loose as there was negligible amount of charcoal in it.
The tarring is applied on loose, naked soil with no soling work.
No attention paid to drainage system, therefore, debris, stones, garbage, and everything that large nullah created in monsoon can sweep have landed on roads. Every time it rains, the road is literally divided by thick streams of rainwater rushes over it at various spots.
Truck transporting apple crop from upper hills to markets are worst hit. Even trucks find it difficult to make it through, and for small vehicles it has become a risky business.
Even in the capital city, roads could not withstand initial monsoon showers and were swayed away after fresh tarring giving way to potholes. In its mission statement, the HPPWD claims to provide “all weather roads” as primary objective and states,
Roads are a very vital infrastructure for rapid economic growth of the state/country. In fact, the development of important sectors of economy such as Agriculture, Horticulture, Industry, Mining and Forestry depends upon efficient road network. Social activities such as education, health, family planning and promotion of tourism also depend upon efficient road network.
The department is nowhere near even constructing durable and acceptable roads. Yet, the CM washed his hands-off throwing HPPWD as a piece of meat when confronted with public unrest. How would scolding the department and displaying helplessness would curb the corruption and bring reforms? Why private contractors are still enjoying government patronage despite faulting so much? Why they are not punished or penalized for failure in meeting defined standards for road construction and maintenance?
While Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh make claims that every village of the state have road connectivity, the spurious road maintenance/tarring works are clear, tight slap on governments face. Roads in Himachal, a popular tourist destination, make sarcastic topics for the foreign visitors. The nexus between contractors and HPPWD has touched new heights of intimacy and collaborated corruption. The quality of road-asphalting continues dipping down, resulting not only huge inconvenience for public, but gigantic loss of revenue as transportation of agricultural products and goods also take hit.
On the top of that, the Chief Minister is satisfied just scolding a department under his own portfolio instead initiating reforms to curb this widespread corruption.
All Photos: Ankit Sharma, Shimla