FP Exclusive: Over 6 Years On, Meghnagar's Model Road Yet To Become Reality

FP Exclusive: Over 6 Years On, Meghnagar's Model Road Yet To Become Reality

Meghnagar’s model road construction project, intended to transform the town’s infrastructure, has set a record for its prolonged delay, spanning more than six years. Despite initial progress, disputes over road width and other challenges have hindered the project's completion, frustrating residents and raising questions about the effectiveness of the endeavour.

FP News ServiceUpdated: Sunday, March 03, 2024, 10:39 PM IST
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Meghnagar (Madhya Pradesh): The construction of a model road sanctioned under Chief Minister Infrastructure 2.0 in Meghnagar municipality has become a record-breaking endeavour, taking over six-and-a-half years to build a cement concrete road in three separate pieces. Despite the prolonged timeline, the civic body has yet to complete the road construction work, raising questions about the efficiency of the project.

The project, initiated in 2017 with funds released by the state government, aimed to develop major roads in Meghnagar, including routes from Jhabua block to Bhandari Chowk to Azad Chowk, from Shivaji to Sai Mandir, and from Sai Square to Station Road. While the first municipal body failed to start the road construction work due to encroachment controversies, the second municipal body, under the leadership of chairman Kamlesh Machar made rapid progress initially.

However, the municipality has faced recurring challenges, with construction halting multiple times, most recently due to a dispute over road width near Shitala Mata Temple Road. The delay has frustrated city residents, who, despite the poor quality of the road built by the contractor, were relieved to see progress after years of stagnation. The current obstruction in road construction, caused by the objection to the road's width to save the Seths' property, has led to heated debates and a lack of consensus among corporators and engineers.

Dispute over encroachment halts progress

As per the Detailed Project Report (DPR), the plan included the construction of an 11-metre-wide and 350-metre-long road from Jhabua Naka to Azad Chowk, with provisions for drainage and lighting on both sides. However, progress on this route has been hindered by a dispute over encroachment. After starting work on the route, a year and a half ago, construction was halted again due to the encroachment issue. Recent attempts to resume work have been unsuccessful, with the contractor instructed to stop work temporarily due to a lack of space for road construction.

The dispute over road width has further complicated matters, with some corporators advocating for a 9-metre-wide road, while others insist on sticking to the approved 11-metre width. Influential figures are pushing to limit the width to 8 or 8.5 metres to accommodate the interests of certain stakeholders. Deputy engineer Suresh Ganawa has stated that the contractor has been directed to focus on completing the work on the second stretch of the road.

However, a permanent solution to the dispute remains elusive, despite hours of debate in the municipality. The delay in completing this crucial infrastructure project has raised concerns among residents, who feel that the benefits of the scheme are being denied to them due to the inability of public representatives to resolve the disputes promptly.

When contacted, CMO Rahul Singh Verma highlighted the ongoing challenge of road construction due to a contradiction between public representatives and the local community. He emphasised resolving disputes through meetings and assured that construction would proceed based on meeting outcomes, aiming to restart work post-Holi despite past delays.


With inputs from Rajendra Singh Songara

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