While the corporation has finished 90% of the works in bus route roads from various other schemes, contractors cited rise in bitumen costs as the reason for them to halt work in interior roads. H Chandrabose, a grade one contractor with the corporation, said one ton of 60/70 grade bitumen used for road laying for the corporation, has risen from Rs 46,022 in January this year to Rs 57,662 in May.
“The corporation usually adjusts rising costs in tender periods which are for a minimum one year. In this case, the tenders are just for fi ve months and so, the rise in costs won’t be adjusted in our bills. The contractors may face a loss,” he said, adding that some of the contractors might be waiting to see if prices marginally decrease.
According to a status report as of May 17, out of the 1654 roads being re-laid under various schemes like TURIF, SDRF, Singara Chennai 2.0 among others, 556 works are pending.
In Zone 2 (Manali), out of the 108 proposed works, only 18 have been completed, while in Zone 3 (Madhavaram), out of the proposed 108 works, only 41 have been finished.
Similarly, out of the 7395 old road relaying works, 358 are pending. Apart from this, the civic body has also dropped nearly 240 road works because storm water drain projects are going to be taken up there or some road cuts by other departments are in the cards.
Activist V Pughalventhan, said he has raised multiple complaints in CM cell since 2018 to relay roads in wards 146,147 and 150. “No action has been taken so far,” he said.
Arappor Iyakkam’s Jayaram Venkatesan said that the corporation needs to update live progress of its works on its website for citizens to follow up. “The zone wise report, details of damaged roads, progress, details of contractors, specifi cations, quality check reports, all must be published,” he said, adding that further transparency on road works is needed.
City corporation commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said that Rs 400 crores for laying newer roads have been announced and the corporation would ask the ward committee members to give their suggestions for relaying interior roads. “Based on the report by ward committee members on interior roads needing a fix, the corporation will send a proposal to the government,” he said.
The commissioner said none of the current projects are delayed and they are on par with the tender period.