The chaos on the Airport road in the city highlights the poor town planning and inefficiency of the authorities concerned. Few years ago, the road that leads to the international airport was a single-lane stretch. Later, it was converted into a double-lane road that successfully helped manage the traffic smoothly.
For the past few months due to the sewerage being laid down, the road has again turned into a single-lane stretch, which is proving insufficient to handle the traffic load from both sides.
The major portion of the road that has been affected is from Gumtala village to Old Jail, a distance of few kilometres. This is not only creating a traffic bottleneck but also affecting shopkeepers, locals, employees, schools, hospitals and other businesses situated along the road.
The traffic flow has become chaotic, resulting into jams. The situation worsens during morning and evening when there is a rush of people on the road. In afternoon, the situation is aggravated as many school vans and auto-rickshaws are added to the traffic. When the issue was brought to the notice of a traffic police official, Baljeet Randhawa, he did not have a solution and could only say that there are plans to divert the traffic towards Loharka Road. At the same time, he agreed o the fact that there is a rise in the number of accidents on the same road.
The locals, who live around the road, said the entire day is disturbing for them due to noise created by vehicles, especially the pressure horns that are used excessively.
They also brought to the notice of the HT team that due to the blockades and high volume of traffic, accidents take place daily and several people, including small children and women, are killed. A resident said the road is now more famous as "accident and chaos road" than its official name.
Dr JS Pannu, who owns Janta Hospital, told HT that ambulances on way to his hospital take a lot of time to reach. He pointed out that traffic chaos put at risk the life of patients for whom every second is crucial. "The work to lay sewerage shows lack of planning on part of the authorities concerned. The need of the hour is to complete the work as soon as possible since the sewerage laying work is posing many problems to people," rued Dr Pannu.
"It will take another two months to wrap up the entire sewerage work and we are doing our best to finish it as soon as possible," said Gurmeet Singh from the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board over phone. Agreeing that the chaos is painful for public, Baljeet Randhawa from the traffic police said there is a plan to divert traffic to Loharka Road.
Ambulances coming to hospital take a lot of time due to traffic chaos. Every second is crucial for patients
Dr JS Pannu, owner, Janta Hospital, Airport Road
The sewerage work, which is progressing at a snail's pace shows inefficiency of the authorities concerned
Jaswant Singh, local
Since the road on the side of my shop is blocked for the past many months, my business has been badly affected
Beant Singh, shopkeeper
I work in a hotel situated on the Airport road and get late to reach for my shift in time every day.
Siddhartha Dasson, hotel employee