BJP raises hackles over shrinking roads in Vellore
VELLORE: Laying of roads in ward 46 (old ward 36) by reducing the existing width leaving soil on either sides has resulted in the BJP’s government relations wing district president VSC Venketesan shooting off letters to Corporation Commissioner P Ashok Kumar with copies to Chief Minister MK Stalin, Municipal Administration Minister KN Nehru, Vellore Collector Kumaravel Pandian and BJP state president K Annamalai. He demanded that the roads in the ward be laid properly, sources said.
Speaking to DT Next Venketesan said, “the width of EVR Street in the ward was reduced from 8 metres to 6.5 metres, while the Sai Baba Street’s width was brought to 7 metres from the existing 9 metres. Similarly, the width of Tirupur Kumaran II Street was reduced to 4 metres from 5.5 metres and that of Arumuga Mudali Street from 12 metres to 5 metres.”
Suspecting that this was being done wantonly by officialdom, he said “when we accosted the Corporation staff on the reason for shortening the width at the site, they said the free space was for rain water to drain off. When it was pointed out that a drain already existed, they fell silent and asked us to talk to higher officials in the Corporation’s main office.”
Elaborating, he said, “We feel that this ploy to reduce width is to reduce the estimate, as work orders for amounts less than Rs 10 lakh can be issued by officials themselves without having to post it online.”
“As I was unable to meet Commissioner Ashok Kumar, I met zone III AC KP Joseph who said he would forward my petition to the engineering wing as only they were capable of replying to it,” Venketesan said.
Asked about this, Commissioner Ashok Kumar said he had forwarded the petition to the municipal engineer. They work according to norms and hence it has to be verified if the street’s side bounds were fixed or reduced. Only then will I be able to reply.”
However, what is the need to reduce the width of an already existing road, Venketesan wanted to know and said the unpaved portions could be covered by paver blocks to ensure stability and longevity.