Work on the much-awaited widening and beautification of the Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Path connecting Kalidas Marg with Faizabad Road has finally begun. It is one of the Samjwadi Party’s dream projects.
“We have been given a nine-month deadline to complete the work, which includes widening, construction of footpath and putting up planters along the stretch,” said a public works department official. The six-lane Lohia Path caters to traffic coming from Bareilly-Barabanki-Sitapur on one side and Kanpur-Allahabad, Sultanpur-Varanasi from the other side. “The total cost of the work on the 6.7 kilometer-long path would be R59.80 crore,” said the official.
The existing two-metre wide cycle tracks and 1.5-meter wide footpaths were built at a cost of R13.61 crore. A two-lane railway overbridge at the Mithaiwala railway crossing, also part of the project, constructed at an estimated cost of R18 crore, is being given finishing touches. It is likely to be made operational soon. The ROB would not only help in easing traffic jams near Lohia Park crossing but would also provide much needed relief to those heading towards Gomti Nagar and the Gomti Barrage from the Polytechnic crossing.
The road-widening project, according to sources, may hit a roadblock in a pocket near Gomti Nagar where the stretch runs into a portion of a graveyard. But PWD officials say the issue has been amicably resolved. “We have the consent of the locals and those in charge of the affairs of the site,” said an official associated with the project. Work on the R133 crore dream project, however, could not be completed during Mualayam Singh Yadav’s regime. In 2007, the then chief minister Mayawati not only stopped work on the project, but also ordered a probe, which was headed by the then divisional commissioner, Lucknow, Vijay Shankar Pandey.
Soon after taking over, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on March 21 directed the officials to give top priority and complete projects of the SP, work on which was stalled during the previous BSP regime. According to sources, a trial run of the proposed Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) was also suggested for the new widened Lohia Path.
“The possibility of the service being introduced in the near future, if the project (BRTS) comes through, cannot be ruled out,” said an official.