Heavy rainfall in the past few days has damaged several roads in areas that fall under the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC). Many roads are riddled with potholes, prompting the civic body authorities to seek detailed reports on the nature of the damage.
“Several roads and culverts have been largely damaged in the extremely heavy downpour. Many roads are now dotted with craters. We are assessing the damage,” Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya said today. Mr Bhattacharya said the minimum estimate of the damage of roads, culverts and drains in the rain could be around Rs 10-15 crore.
Common people and officers of the Siliguri traffic police, meanwhile, said that the road conditions could lead to accidents if not repaired immediately.
Among the worst-hit are road stretches in Wards 4, 25, 26, 31, 32, 38, 40, 42, and 46, SMC sources said.
“The rainfall has severely damaged the roads at many places. We have sought detailed reports from the boroughs on the nature of the damage within seven days. We will carry out a survey of those roads and send proposals to both the Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri district magistrates for funds for repairing the roads and culverts,” said a member of the mayorin-council, PWD/building, Nurul Islam.
He said some culverts had caved in as rodents nibbled the soil underneath, while the bitumen layers of some roads were washed away in rains, and mastic roads constructed by the North Bengal Development Department were also damaged at some places.
“It is difficult to drive down the stretches now. If the roads are not repaired immediately, it can lead to accidents,” said a motorist. The civic board, however, is hopeful that the general repairing of the roads will be completed before the Durga Puja, despite the extensive damages. “We will conduct the general repairing of the roads with our own funds before the Durga Puja,” Mr Islam added.
Meanwhile, the civic board is planning to give the roads a bituminous top coat using the cold-mix method. The hot mix method usually creates pollution, it is learnt.
“Some roads have come up in Siliguri, we will visit to get a stock, ” he said. Hot mix and cold mix are two ways in which a road can be laid. In both the methods, bitumen is the key component that acts as a binder and holds together the stones and other materials, engineers said.