The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner to file a status report on the present condition of roads in the city, the amount spent on maintaining them and also asked if procedures such as milling were being followed before relaying of existing roads.
The Court also directed the Highways Secretary to file a similar report on the condition of state highways. The reports are to be filed by March 11.
According to a report in The Hindu, the court was hearing a PIL filed by R Murali of New Perungalathur in Kancheepuram district who had complained about the local town panchayat relaying the roads in the locality without milling the existing tar.
Milling is the process of scrapping away existing tar from roads before relaying them with a new layer. This ensures that the height of roads is maintained, in addition to giving the road a longer life.
The complaint also alleged that the petitioner feared flooding as a result of shoddy work done on the roads.
The petition was heard by a division bench of Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad, following suo motu inclusion of two officials as respondents.
While submitting that the roads were laid as per guidelines, the respondents attributed damages to the work undertaken by other authorities like the TNEB (Tamil Nadu Electricity Board) and BSNL.
According to a report in Times of India, the bench observed that many roads in the city are not maintained properly except for a few arterial roads like Kamarajar Salai. The Hindu report says that the petitioner’s counsel, S Varsha argued that civil contractors do not scrap out the existing tar on account of increased costs. She also pointed out the absence of standard guidelines when it comes to relaying of interior roads under the control of local bodies.
The judges, while expressing concern over the condition of roads in Chennai, also observed that there were instances where damaged roads were left unattended for a long time, by both the Corporation and the state highways authority.