Activists raise concerns over UMC re-laying roads in good condition, neglecting stretches with high vehicle load. Shobana Chandrashekar of MOB Project says roads re-laid incl. Collectorate-Navanagar Palace, Hospital Road & Aramby Road. Protest closure of Aramby Road near court complex. P. Egaraj, Municipal Commissioner, says 32 roads being re-laid with renewal bitumen. ₹12.45 crore sanctioned for road work on surfaces >4 yrs old or damaged due to rains.
Citizen rights activists have raised concerns about the Udhagamandalam Municipality (UMC) re-laying roads in areas where the roads are in good condition, while neglecting stretches that have a high vehicle load and require more urgent repairs.
Shobana Chandrashekar, one of the founders of the Make Ooty Beautiful (MOB) Project, said that at least three stretches of roads were re-laid by the UMC in the last few weeks, including the stretch from the Collectorate to the Navanagar Palace, the Hospital Road and on Tuesday, the Aramby Road that connected the town to the newly-opened Combined District Court Complex.
The three roads were in good condition and did not require re-laying. There were other roads within municipality limits that required urgent repairs, she said.
“The road works are taken up in the morning, when people have to go to work or to drop off their children to school. Recently, the Hospital Road was being laid during the middle of the day, bringing traffic, including ambulances to a stop,” said Ms. Chandrashekar.
The activist also protested closure of the Aramby Road near the court complex by the municipality on Tuesday, denying access to residents’ who used it to reach their homes.
P. Egaraj, Municipal Commissioner, said that 32 roads belonging to the civic body, measuring 28.15 km, varying from a few hundred metres to 800 metres, were being re-laid with renewal bitumen. “The renewal bitumen is being laid on certain stretches while patchwork is also being done on damaged roads.”
He said that the Directorate of Municipal Administration sanctioned ₹12.45 crore for the road work, which was being undertaken on road surfaces that were more than four years old or were in a highly damaged state due to the rains.