Patchwork art at Devi Balika junction - EDITORIAL

5 September 2018 12:03 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The junction next to Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Borella has the unique distinction of being a meeting place of some 15 road lanes. These include four lanes each from Kotte and Horton place, two lanes each from Pelpola Vipassi Mawatha, Borella Kanatte road and the road that connects junction with Cotta Road and one from Shady Grove Avenue.  

Such is the complexity of the vehicular movement in this location, usually a team of policemen is stationed at various points of the junction to man the traffic during heavy traffic hours. The proximity to Castle Hospital only goes to enhance the need for a smooth flow of traffic in the location which is frequently used by politicians heading for parliament too.   

Despite these factors the road condition of the junction is much to be desired. For the past few months it has been looking more like a patchwork art with its wide variety of layers of carpeting, with different heights and pot holes making it so uncomfortably bumpy.  

The reason for this bizarre outlook, especially on to the left side when travelling from Colombo, is the excavations carried out by various government agencies in the site at regular intervals. While the motorists somehow bear up with the inconvenience caused by the regular obstructions in the junction by way of digging, what really gets on their nerves is the post-work outcome.   

Post-excavation; the government agency responsible for the digging fill up the respective pits and put a patch of tar on them often making a mound or a valley in the junction. These mounds and valleys prompt the motorists to slow down thus affecting the smooth flow of traffic. Ideally the government agency responsible for the digging – be it the Water Board (NWSDB), Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) or any other, should have sought the assistance of the Road Development Authority (RDA) to smoothen the mouth of the pit once their work is completed. Or else at least after three or four such excavations, the RDA should lay a new asphalt carpeting in and around the location. In the absence of such moves, the junction today looks more like a battered war-zone than a crucial entry point to the Colombo city.   

A few weeks back, the media highlighted the state of the junction with photographs. Unfortunately no action has been taken so far by the authorities to improve it.  

This junction, however, is not the only place in the city that needs some proper carpeting. Almost all the spots where excavations have been carried out are in need of smoothening. Even the roads in the heart of Colombo are in need of immediate repairs, no effort has been taken to attend to them for the past few years.  

While the previous regime scored heavily on the management and construction of roads, it’s a fact that the UNP-led government is yet to make up its mind to maintain the roads properly. Some attribute this to lack of funds. Good roads are a crucial factor in the economic and social development of any country. They add up to economic growth and the living standards of the people. The public, while reeling under the heavy taxes slapped on them during the past few years, expects the returns in the form of development of infrastructure and transportation system. Driving or commuting down bumpy roads after paying those heavy taxes is certainly not something that the public deserve.  

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