Friday, September 16, 2011

Bad Roads; In West Bengal


Have you recently traveled through district roads of West Bengal? It your answer is in affirmative, then I need not to tell you how those roads are! If you did not take any travel through those roads, I must say you are lucky. Surprising year after year they are repaired and the cycle goes on and on! There are government departments like CPWD and PWD for the arterial roads and others like municipal or Panchayat authorities for the connecting or smaller roads stretching with in localities. 

The arterial roads maintained by state PWD departments are more or less of same features. With potholes all around, some stretches are so bad; they give you the taste of real ride! Crores of rupees are spent year after year; one surprises how much really spent for repairing them. It is open secret that government departments like PWD and Irrigation are most fetching for those running them. Right from minister on the top, the Chaprasis get his share. It's a nexus of politicians, officials and contractors. I am not sure how the booty is shared but the roads are in their worst conditions. Contracts are awarded with due precess of opening the tenders. With the apparent regularities; don't think they are regular! Do you know what back-up money is! It's the money offered to all the participant contractors in a particular tender by one of them who would do the job. In most of the small or medium works with PWDs, the cartel of contractors fix who would do the job and how much will be shared between them, keeping aside the cut money for those in the power may be! Imagine how much really spent for the real works; at time not even 30%! So, our roads are bad, remained bad for ever. And they are like gold mine that never gets exhausted. Year after year the same roads mint money for many at the cost of exchequers. All benefits out of it; who are in business like motor spare manufacturers and garage owners due to frequent breakdown of vehicles negotiating bad roads.
With 'Paribartan' all around; will the roads change?

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