A bus stand project initiated by the residents to ease traffic conditions in the town has been abandoned, 18 months after it was raised, reportedly due to political interference and a tug-of-war between two factions of the ruling SAD.
Of the two factions, one wants the bus stand to be shifted to a new location to ease traffic, while the other wants it at its old centre, at the centre of the Moga town.
Fed-up of the incessant horns and frequent accidents between buses and other vehicles, Badhni Kalan residents identified a common land, outside the city where the stand could be shifted.
With the statement government failing to provide funds, residents pooled in Rs. 5 lakh and the bus stand was raised.
Now, with no forward work by the government, the land of the new bus stand has been taken over by slum dwellers, who have pitched in their huts on the spot.
Gian Bhushan Tayal, a businessman, said that villagers, youth from the sports clubs around the area and religious members of bodies had worked hard to level the land.
"We wanted a new and safe bus stand, but some political leaders have acted as the spoil-sport. The Badhni Kalan Truck Union provided us with brick kilns and cement. We are helpless now."
Vivek Kumat Kochhar, a local BJP leader, said that the panchayat had not passed any resolution on the construction of a new bus stand at gram panhayat land.
"Some leaders are wooing residents. IF the state government decides to launch a new bus stand, we will remove the encroachment from the land immediately."
Manoj Bhalla, former vice president of Nagar Panchayat, said, "The new bus stand is outside the town. Some bus operators claimed that their time table was hit due to the extra distance their buses had to travel to the bus stand."
Ranwinder Singh Pappu Ramoowal, a senior SAD leader, said," I will raise this issue next week with deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. More than 20,000 residents of of Badhni Kalan are impacted by any decision on the issues. There will be clarity on the issue soon."
Moga deputy commissioner Arshdeep Singh Thind said: "I will ask the Nilal Singh Wala SDM to inquire into the matter. No encroachment on government land will tolerated."