The quality of the busy road that connects the city to Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport at Raja Sansi was put to test by the squall that hit city on Monday and as expected - it failed the test.
The road caved-in near the Gurdwara Palla Sahib T-point, close to the central jail, just when a car was passing on it. Luckily none of the occupants were hurt and the vehicle was later pulled out of the pit that had formed in the middle of the left hand lane of the busy road.
This is the second time in less than a month that the road caved-in, raising eyebrows over the quality of the ongoing construction works.
On January 25, a portion of the road had caved-in, forming an eight-foot wide pit close to the main entrance of the central jail.
Over a year and a half has passed since the Sewerage Board began laying sewers along this road and one lane to the road from Gumtala bypass to the central jail was dug up with JCB machines for laying sewer pipes.
Many residents living in colonies on both sides of the road pointed to Sewerage Board engineers that the mud foundations on which the concrete pipes were laid were weak and needed to be compressed properly with road rollers. However, PWD engineers went ahead with the construction of the road. No sooner had the construction begun when a portion of the road caved-in under the impact of vehicles.
It was again dug-up, pipes were re-laid and the construction of the road started again. All this while, just one lane was opened for traffic between Gumtala bypass and the central jail. However, when the newly-constructed lane was again opened for traffic a few months back, several residents of the area expressed doubts over the quality of the work executed. Their fear proved true as within a month two incidents of road cave-in took place.
"For the past one year or so, all our pleas had fallen on deaf ears. We were promised inquiries into the construction works, but the administration, thus far, failed to fix any responsibility," stated Gurjeet Singh Aujla, president of the Amritsar (rural) District Congress Committee (DCC).
"I am sure that a large chunk of money has been pocketed by someone or the other. If deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is so concerned about improving the infrastructure of the holy city let him order a fair inquiry into the construction of the airport road," stated Aujla.
Meanwhile, the residents of the area are once again gearing-up to hold a protest on the road. Over the past one year, they held a number of protests, demanding an inquiry into the construction of the road.