The roads to perdition

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 May 2018 09:24:42


Staff Reporter,

Dust, huge tilted pillars, bad shape of roads, delays are making it inconvenient for the people to use roads in eastern party of the city

Tilted pillars of bridge, dusty road stretches, small puddles, ‘ongoing’ cement road construction left mid-way, heaps of soil ‘placed’ in a haphazard manner welcome anybody who travels through Pardi Road, Shitala Mata Chowk, Kalamna, Wardhaman Nagar, Dipti Signal, and adjoining areas in eastern part of the city.

If one thinks of speaking to a public representative about these ‘issues’, one should be sure that it will yield no result. For, they argue that people will have to face a ‘little’ inconvenience due to construction of a bridge by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and ongoing work of Nagpur Metro Rail project. Talk to citizens, and they have a different take. People say, they do not oppose development. At the same time, they ask, what about the condition of existing roads? The roads being used presently by people should be in a good condition. Faulty road engineering of cement roads under construction across the city also has increased the stress of the people and respiratory diseases.

At Pardi Chowk, huge iron bars have come out of the half-constructed part of NHAI bridge, posing danger to the lives of the people. These bars form the core of pillars that tilted. The construction company has given temporary support to ensure that the bars stand erect, but when one stands near it he or she realises that the ‘support’ is not enough of an assurance of safety.

The road from Pardi Chowk to Kalamna may make one feel like being part of an action movie, wherein dust arises whenever hero rides a bike over it to make an entry. The only thing is that the dust on this particular road in Nagpur hurts the eyes of vehicle-riders, especially during the peak hours of traffic. The dusty ambience is so dense at times that one fails to see clearly beyond 100 meters. Such a dusty road is surely an invitation not only to accidents but also to respiratory problems.

Driving a car or riding a two-wheeler near Kalamna is a big task as the roads have been dug up in an unplanned manner and left unrepaired. More than half of the road ‘rocks’ and causes a great inconvenience to road users. Obviously, this road has become accident-prone. Suresh Raut, a resident of Suryanagar, told ‘The Hitavada’ that his daughter had sustained injuries as she fell down from her vehicle and hit this damaged road. “Everyday, people witness three or four accidents on this road. Only God knows when will these roads become smooth,” wondered a disappointed Raut.

As one moves on to Bhandara Road near Pardi Naka, one wonders if it is really a ‘road’. The work of the bridge being built by NHAI is underway.
When asked about it, Krishna Khopde, MLA of East Nagpur constituency, said, “The roads are bad because the works of Metro Rail project and NHAI bridge are underway.” Vilas Shendre, a senior citizen of Pardi, felt otherwise. He wanted to know whether the existing infrastructure played an important role or not while the city ‘developed’. If the existing roads are not in good shape, how do the commuters conduct their daily work, Shendre asked. According to him, the bridges should to be built but the existing roads near such constructions should be in good shape.

Near old Pardi Chowk, the roads dug up by the civic authorities have converted into puddles. Water has accumulated there, making it difficult for the pedestrians to use the road. Same is the case with Wardhaman Nagar and Shitala Mata Mandir Chowk areas where contractors have placed heaps of soil just by the roadside. These ‘heaps of neglect’ have hardened with time, making it inconvenient for the people to negotiate the road.

Cement road construction work is seen left halfway on Swaminarayan Mandir ring road and Bhandewadi Road. Only one part of the road is usable and there is two-way flow of traffic. Khopde agreed that this one road stretch posed a lot of problems. According to him, so many works are being done in this part for which cables are being laid there. One can see telephone, electricity, and other cables laid on the road. This has resulted in delay in road construction. He said that he would raise the issues with Metro Rail project authorities, NHAI officials, and Municipal Commissioner, and try for proper solutions.

Duneshwar Pethe, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporator from the area, was full of criticism over slow pace of work of the roads and bridge. He said that the bridge should not have been stretched till Satranjipura. “They (NHAI) are constructing the bridge in an improper manner. Barricades installed are creating more snarls than regulating traffic. There are patches that have seen many accident victims,” he alleged. In fact, many people complained of irritation and angry outbursts owing to tension involved in driving or riding their vehicles on such roads.

Dr Nikhil Pande, noted Psychiatrist, however felt that improper manner of road construction had nothing to do with psychological outbursts. But people get irritated by the way it is being done, he added. “Previously, it took me 15 minutes to reach my Sakkardara clinic. Now, I reach the clinic 15 minutes later. It makes you feel tired and experience irritation,” he said.

Dr Rajesh Swarnakar, Secretary of Indian Chest Association and well-known Pulmonologist, observed that the patients suffering from asthma have increased these days. According to him, “Lungs are constantly exposed to danger from the dust particles we breathe.” When a person breathes in, he explained, suspended particulate matter enters the nostrils but not all of them reach the lungs because nose is an efficient filter. Most large particles are stopped in it, until they are removed mechanically by blowing the nose or sneezing. Some of the smaller particles succeed in passing through the nostrils to reach the windpipe and the dividing air tubes that lead to lungs. Luckily, lungs have another function -- they have defense mechanism that protects them by removing dust particles from the respiratory system. “Even though lungs can clear themselves, excessive inhalation of dust may result in disease. What is happening on Nagpur roads is excessive inhalation that is dangerous to humans,” he concluded.
If one sums up the situation after having visited the areas and seen the situation, it will have a simple description for these roads -- The Roads to Perdition. Will the situation change? Well, it depends on how alert are the people and how responsive are the authorities concerned (if at all, they are ‘concerned’).