PIMPRI: In a classic example of how the nexus between politicians and civic officials often leads to the creation of shoddy infrastructure, the footpath on the stretch of road connecting Dharamsi Babar Chowk to Kinetic Chowk, in Vidyanagar, Chinchwad, has become so pathetic, that it has become of no use for pedestrians. Half a kilometre of the footpath is damaged at several places along the road, which clearly puts a question mark on the quality of material used while constructing it.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporator representing ward Number 10, Mangala Kadam, said, “It's difficult to ascertain who was responsible for this shoddy work then, as it was done prior to the elections in February. Earlier, this area was under Vidyanagar ward represented by a Shiv Sena corporator.” Kadam added that however, she would look into this matter.
Before delimitation of wards, Shiv Sena's Sharada Prakash Babar and Ram Patre were representing the ward number 8. But after delimitation, it has come under the newly formed ward number 10, which comprises the area right from Shahunagar to Morwadi. Both former corporators could not score tickets from the parties. But former mayor and NCP leader Mangala Kadam is sitting corporator. The work of the footpath took place just before the announcement of the code of conduct for civic polls in January.
The surface of the footpath has become so uneven that people are unable to use it. Residents claimed that it was not levelled with concrete material beneath the paving blocks so that they could not be dislodged. But it seems this concrete surface is completely absent. Local resident Saraswati Gophane said, "The quality of the work is so poor that rodents have carved holes in it. That is the reason why many potholes developed on the footpath."
When asked about the issue, Executive Engineer of A zone of PCMC, Satish Ingale said, "We are not aware of the situation of the footpath. We will conduct an enquiry into the quality of work and appropriate action will be taken against the person responsible for it."
Locals are saying that the work was done from the taxpayers' money and not from the charity of the politician or the contractor. Hence, there is a big question mark on the PCMC authorities' ability to maintain the quality of the work. Besides the contractor, the person who sanctioned bills of the work should be held responsible for the quality of the footpath.