Crores spent on the laying of Ajnala Road have literally gone down the drain as it was excavated all over again for relaying soon after it started caving in due to technical glitches and official oversight.
The stretch from Kitchlew Chowk to Meerankot was laid a few months ago after the installation of sewage lines by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the area.
The work on laying of the road is being undertaken by the buildings and roads wing of public works department (PWD). PWD officials said the cost of ongoing work on the 4 kilometre stretch is worth Rs. 39 crore.
The officials had rushed through the work as nearly 30 feet of mud spread before laying the road was not compressed properly and the road was laid right on top of the uncompressed soil, as a result of which it began to cave in and had to be dug up and re-laid all over again.
Local residents say the road has been excavated several times in the name of widening and installation of sewerage since 2004, and crores were spent on it in the recent time. They said the road was four-laned in 2004, but it had to be redone due to some technical problems.
District Congress Committee (DCC), Amritsar rural, president Gurjit Singh Aujla said the road widening project was first mooted in 2004.
"The Congress government was in power when Rs. 8 crore was spent on four-laning of the road. A few years ago, the SAD-BJP government announced the six-laning project. This coincided with the ongoing sewerage work in the city under JICA and the road was dug up again," he said.
Then it was covered with mud, which was not compressed and the 'pucca' road was laid on the top of it, as a result of which cracks started developing on the road, he added.
Aujla alleged irregularities in the laying of sewage lines in the area. "Instead of laying sewage pipes, they have laid 32-inch rainwater disposal pipes. The sewerage that was laid is for domestic purpose whereas the area is fast developing as commercial hub," he said. PWD executive engineer Jasbir Singh claimed that the stretch it was for the first time that the stretch was laid.
"Earlier, mud was laid after installing sewerage in the area. But the soil was not compressed. The work on laying of the road was started after compressing the soil," he said.