Even as the city bus service finally hit the roads after seven years of its announcement, a number of other projects in Amritsar are yet to see the light of day.
There is a long list of important projects which have either been stalled or delayed for one reason or the other.
Delayed projectsMunicipal solid waste management project: Despite the directives of the Punjab and Haryana high court to the Amritsar Municipal Corporation to hire a firm to run the municipal solid waste management project in six months’ time, the MC is yet to do the needful in this regard. The project has been hanging in the balance after Antony Waste Handling Cell Private Limited, the firm handling the collection of municipal solid waste pulled out in August 2012. The MC officials have been saying that the tenders for the project have been floated. A solid waste treatment plant proposed to be constructed at Bhagtanwala as a part of the project continues to be a non-starter.
Sports Complex: The foundation stone of the multi-purpose sports stadium was laid by Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in 2011. The deputy chief minister had promised that the work on the project would be completed soon but the site for it has been turned into a garbage dumping ground.
Underground plaza outside Golden Temple: There was a proposal to inaugurate some parts of the ambitious plaza coming up outside the Golden Temple by Diwali. It was shelved as the district administration officials cited the government’s decision to formally inaugurate the entire structure on its completion.
Gobindgarh Fort: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh handed over the keys of the fort, under Army’s possession for 150 years, to the civil administration in 2006. However, the fort is yet to be thrown open to the public.
Night sanitation: The Amritsar Municipal Corporation had initiated a night sanitation campaign in the vicinity of the Golden Temple to keep all approach roads clean for the benefit of the tourists and the devotees coming to the shrine. However, after a few days, the project failed due to the paucity of staff, lack of interest among the officials concerned and public.
Pods project: The ambitious pods project, with an estimated cost of Rs 198.5 crore, is yet to see the light of day. There was a proposal to include around 210 six-seater laser-operated, driverless cars equipped with 13-inch accident proof radials, to ferry around 6,000 persons between various stations in one hour.
The total length of the track was to be around 3.5 kilometres. The proposed stations were Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Market, railway station, Hall Gate, Galliara, Golden Temple, bus stand and Jagat Jyoti School. The project stands shelved.
Heritage village: Another important plan waiting to be materialised for years is the heritage village project at Guru Nanak Dev University. Despite having been announced by the government many years back with an estimated cost of Rs 12 crore, rthe project is under construction.
CCTV Cameras: The need for the CCTV camera project was urgently felt with a spurt in the incidents of crimes against women, snatchings, robberies and thefts. But the project has been hanging fire since the installation of cameras has not been started yet. At an estimated cost of Rs 3.80 crore, the project was announced by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in 2011.
Food Street: Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal after his tour to Lahore in Pakistan had announced a food street for the city in 2012. The project is yet to see the light of day. The Centre too had proposed a food street for Amritsar in 2008, asking the state government to identify a suitable site for it.
Rehri markets: To deal with encroachments on the roadsides by pushcart owners in the city, a rehri market was proposed but the project continues to be a non-starter till date.
Widening of Bhandari Bridge: The proposal to widen the Bhandari Bridge, the sole connecting link between the walled city and the Civil Lines, is yet another example of a forgotten project as the work on it is yet to begin despite numerous meetings held in this regard. The proposal was mooted by the Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) about two years ago, but had been rejected by the railway authorities. The project is now being overseen by the MC, which intends to widen it by six meters on both sides.
Flyover at SSSS Chowk: The AIT had proposed a flyover at Sant Singh Sukha Singh (SSSS) Chowk at an estimated cost of Rs 38 crore to deal with growing traffic congestion two years ago.
However, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) banned the construction citing the proximity of the proposed flyover to the heritage site of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Ram Bagh, also known as Company Gardens.
It is a protected site under the Ancient Monuments, Archeological Sites and Remains Act. The Act, ASI officials say, prohibits construction within the 100 metres periphery of a protected site.
* Despite high court orders, the MC has failed to hire a firm to run the municipal solid waste management project after Antony Waste Handling Cell stopped garbage collection in August 2012
* Amid rising incidents of crimes against women, snatchings, robberies and thefts, deputy CM Sukhbir Badal announced the CCTV camera project in 2011 at an estimated cost of Rs 3.80 crore. But the project has been hanging fire since
“The government sits on its promises and keeps procrastinating for years. These promises are not fulfilled.”
Brij Bedi, social activist
“Some of the projects were shelved after ASI denied approval for them. We are making efforts to complete others soon.”
DPS Kharbanda, municipal commissioner