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HindustanTimes Tue,30 Sep 2014

8 months on, MC too fails to start underpass project

Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, July 19, 2014
First Published: 11:16 IST(19/7/2014) | Last Updated: 11:30 IST(19/7/2014)

In November last year UT administrator Shivraj Patil had entrusted the municipal corporation (MC) of Chandigarh to construct eight underpasses in various parts of the city to ease traffic congestion, but the civic body formed a committee in April, which has not even met once. The project is hanging fire for the past seven years as the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) failed to start it despite having funds, following which the MC was given the task.

Surinder Bahga, who is a member of the committee formed, said, “It is very unfortunate that eight months are over, but the civic body is not taking the project seriously, despite a budget allocation of Rs. 10 crore for it. The sad part is that even after the formation of committee in April, it has not even met once, reflecting on the non-seriousness of the officers. On the other hand, traffic has increased manifold the city, which is a cause for concern for the city.”

When contacted, MC chief engineer Mukesh Anand said, “We are holding a meeting of the committee next month. We will also make a plan for underpasses and send it to the chief architect for approval.”

In 2007, the UT administration proposed underpasses and the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) was entrusted the project. The same year, a team was sent to Belgium to study the models there. In 2009, after spending over Rs. 1 crore on conducting various feasibility studies, the CHB submitted its report. In February 2012, the Centre even released a grant of Rs. 5 crore for the project, but it was put on the backburner. Later in November 2013, the task of construction was given to the MC.

Chandigarh’s architect Le Corbusier had given a fourphase development plan to cope with the growing traffic. In the first phase, the city was to have roundabouts; the second phase catered to slip roads; the third phase catered to having underpasses and in the fourth phase, the city would have overpasses.

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