By the end of 2013, commuters who regularly travel between Zirakpur and Kharar will be able to reduce their travelling time. This is because Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) here on Thursday razed encroachments on a part of land allotted for the under-construction airport road, which would connect Zirakpur to National Highway 21 near Kharar.
During the demolition drive, a slum colony that had come up on piece of land meant for a 3-km stretch of the eight-km airport road was cleared. Nearly 200 families were staying in the colony. GMADA also took possession of the land on Thursday, paving the way for the road's construction.
While the rest of the road had been constructed, the three-kilometre stretch from where the encroachments were cleared on Thursday had been hanging fire for four years now. Farmers from Ballomajra, Bareali and Desumajra villages near here had moved to the high court against land acquisition, saying that they did not want to part with their land falling under the proposed urban estate.
Last May, the Punjab and Haryana high court gave a green signal to the road, but quashed GMADA's proposal for acquiring land for the urban estate, which was to come up along the road.
Airport road will pass through Sector 74 and Phase 8, Industrial Area here. GMADA will now soon float tenders for the construction of the road and work is expected to begin within two months. The authority has kept a five-month time period for the completion of the road.
GMADA had planned the bypass road from Sector 74 to Kharar, but could not connect it to NH-21 as the 3-km stretch could not be completed due to the farmers' protest. Once completed, the bypass will come as a relief for industrial units in SAS Nagar, as vehicles will not have to enter SAS Nagar town. At present, commuters are forced to move through Spice Chowk in SAS Nagar and Landran road.