Every rainfall rendering ERA works as ‘death traps’ for people in Jammu

Expenditure turns out to be wasteful; time to fix responsibility

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Aug 13: Every rainfall during the ongoing monsoon season is rendering the works carried out by Economic Reconstruction Agency (ERA) as “death traps” for the people in major parts of Jammu particularly in Jammu West Assembly Constituency where expenditure worth crores of rupees made by the Agency in construction of roads and lanes following laying of sewer lines has turned out to be wasteful.
Moreover, the prevailing situation has clearly established that no serious attention was paid towards ensuring quality of work by the contractors, who are now required to be black-listed for carrying out sub-standard work and causing huge loss to the exchequer.
As per the reports, overnight heavy rainfall caused extensive damage to the private and Government property in almost all those areas where sewer lines were recently laid by the Economic Reconstruction Agency by spending crores of rupees.
In majority of such areas, the roads constructed by contractors engaged by ERA following laying of sewer lines were completely washed away in the flash floods caused by the heavy rains last night. Even the sewer lines suffered massive damage and in many places the same got badly choked leading to insanitary conditions in the houses connected with the network due to back-pressure. Click here to watch video
In different localities of Jammu West Assembly Constituency large number of vehicles suffered extensive damage due to sinking of lanes recently black-topped by Economic Reconstruction Agency following completion of sewer line work. Even the boundary walls of several houses collapsed following washing away of surface of lanes due to poor quality of work.
Indira Colony locality in Old Janipur was the worst victim of the sub-standard works carried out by the contractors engaged by the ERA as the area was looking like a ‘nullah’ with no traces of road recently constructed by the Agency. The major portion of the only lane connecting this vast area developed deep potholes due to erosion of works carried out by ERA and this caused many difficulties for the people to come out of their houses in the morning.
The washed away road surface also badly choked the drains in the area and due to this rain water made entry in majority of the houses causing extensive damage to electronic gadgets besides other household articles.
On many roads in the Jammu West Assembly Constituency several manholes of sewer lines were seen overflowing due to choking while as at several other places the road surface around the manholes was found sunk. In this way, not only in the interior localities of the Jammu West Assembly segment the heavy rains had rendered the works carried out by the ERA on several main roads as ‘death-traps’ for the pedestrians as well as vehicle operators.
This was not for the first time that heavy rains during ongoing monsoon season had caused massive damage to the works carried out by the ERA. Few days back similar situation had erupted in several other localities of the Jammu West Assembly segment.
“The prevailing situation has clearly established that there was no focus on ensuring quality work by the contractors engaged by the Economic Reconstruction Agency”, people said, adding had quality work been ensured by those at the helm of affairs in the Agency such a massive damage could have been easily avoided”.
Demanding high-level probe into the sewer line laying and ancillary works carried out by the ERA, the people said, “due to failure of the authorities to ensure quality work expenditure worth crores of rupees has turned out to be wasteful and responsibility is required to be fixed”, adding “all those contractors whose works have suffered extensive damage within few months should be black-listed by the Government for causing huge loss to the State exchequer”.
They further said, “it is a matter of serious concern that Government is focusing on repair of roads, lanes and drains following every monsoon season but efforts are not made to divert the seasonal nullahs so as to avoid damage to residential areas”.