Since the Land Acquisition Act's coming into force from January 1 might increase the compensation bill, there's pressure on state government to save money by acquiring all the land required for the Chandan Nagar railway under-bridge (RUB) now.
The local leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took the proposal to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal lately in the presence of state party president Kamal Sharma, after which, Jalandhar North legislator and chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) KD Bhandari claims to have the approval. "After discussing with local bodies minister Anil Joshi, we proposed that if the state government released the money for land now, then the local bodies department could pay for the construction," said Bhandari.
The government had to pay Rs 19.72 crore now but after the implementation of the land-acquisition law, the amount could reach up to Rs 72 crore, the CPS added. "We are holding regular meetings with the state government officials to secure the money at the earliest to complete land acquisition in time," he further said.
The local municipal corporation (MC) had earlier failed to deposit Rs 19.72 crore, which is to be paid as compensation to the land owners around the site, with the land acquisition collector (LAC), subdivisional magistrate-1 Iqbal Singh Sandhu, in time. The acquisition process began on August 23, 2010, and the LAC was required to announce the award within three years.
The MC had written to the revenue commissioner to seek six-month extension of the deadline for depositing the compensation. The local BJP leadership is also trying to save its political image by completing the long-pending project before the coming parliamentary elections.
Why the BJP needs it
Construction of Chandan Nagar railway under-bridge is the issue on which Jalandhar North legislator KD Bhandari contested the 2007 assembly election and won. However, he failed to fulfil the promise and the project is stuck for the past six years. The constituents are at loggerheads with the legislator, and since January, protesting under the banner of Chamber of Northern Welfare Society.
Why people need it
The three railway crossings on the Amritsar-Jalandhar main line (Ram Nagar, Chandan Nagar and Adda Hoshiarpur) are the most favoured travel routes of Jalandhar North constituents; but because of heavy railway traffic on the route, the crossings remain closed for most of the time. To travel to Adda Hoshiarpur, the constituents can take the Domoria Bridge but to go to Ram Nagar and Chandan Nagar, they have to wait for hours. An RUB between the Ram Nagar and Chandan Nagar crossings can help and, in 2006, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had agreed during one of the election meetings to deliver it.
After more than six years, it seems now we'll be heard. The assurance remains verbal but we hope our leader succeeds
Santokh Singh Pilot, Chamber of Northern Welfare Society president
On Diwali nights, driver has to stop the train, as a huge rush tries to get through the closed gates. It is a common scene even during most times of the day when the crossing is closed because of traffic
Raj Kumar Sharma, resident
The government should pay heed to our long-pending demand now. During peak hours, the situation is worst, as huge traffic jam is observed on both sides of the three railway crossings, almost daily
Varinder Mahindru, resident