The project to facelift and beautify the city’s small choe (small rivulet) has yet not taken off despite the announcement by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal two months ago during his sangat darshan in Patiala.
Sources said the irrigation department has already submitted the proposal to both district administration and municipal corporation to create a mechanism that stops the illegal dumping of sewer and garbage from the residential houses built along the choe’s 4-km length and also beautifies the entire drainage which is meant to carry only rainy water. But the budget sanction for the project is still awaited.
A meeting was scheduled with deputy chief minister last month but it was canceled. Since then the project is held up, said sources
MC Commissioner PS Gill said the sanction of the grant was expected soon since the matter is already under consideration of the state government. “The moment the sanction comes, the project will be rolled out on priority,’’ he added.
The choe is meant to carry rain water. But over the years, it has turned in a dumping spot. Also, there are areas along the choe where the linking channels, which drain out the rainwater into the rivulet, are heavily choked. The proposal drafted by local irrigation department has identified the problematic areas along the choe.
The choe that begins from Patiala’s Tafajalpura (near railway station) and later submerges into big choe has a width of about 150 feet. The project also has a provision to narrow down the part of the choe and widen the road along with it.
The rivultet’s facelift is pending since long. In 2008, its development was ordered by the state government but could not be taken up due to lack of funds. Recently, local Congress MLA Brahm Mohindra moved a petition before Punjab Vidhan Sabha secretary, highlighting choe’s severe condition and demanded its cleanliness.
Mohindra said the announcement of Badals was just an election gimmick. ‘‘Had they been serious, the project would have been started by now,’’ he said.