With the much awaited rail underpass near the Lodhi Club in BRS Nagar scheduled to be inaugurated on Thursday, the city’s harried residents have now begun hoping work on other long delayed civic projects like flyovers and rail overbridges would begin soon.
A day before its opening, the underpass, which cost about `37 lakh to build, was given last minute finishing touches. Commuters can now cover the distance of 3 km from Ferozepur Road to Pakhowal Road in less than five minutes. Earlier the trip used to take almost half an hour with motorists having to take a long detour. Those heading for Dugri and Dhandra will also save a lot of time as other routes including Malhar Road are plagued by interminable traffic snarls.
The Lodhi Club Road underpass was supposed to be completed by February or March, but the construction work schedule later went awry. After HT highlighted the inordinate delay local Congress party politicians gave an “ultimatum” to the civic authorities to get the project completed. Soon after state PWD minister Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon announced the underbridge would become functional from November 6.
Meanwhile, the harried residents have been waiting for years for various flyovers, underpasses and rail overbridges in the city to open. One such project is the Jalandhar bypass with the National Highways Authority of India planning to open one side of the flyover in the next couple of weeks, which will provide great relief to commuters negotiating the congested route. A senior official of the Soma group, the firm contracted to construct the flyover said, “We plan to open the flyover for traffic within two weeks”.
The flyover is part of a larger project in which the 291 km stretch between Panipat and Jalandhar will be six-laned in time to meet a court deadline of end-March, 2015.
After missing several deadlines, a rail overbridge from Ferozepur Road towards Pakhowal Road in BRS Nagar, part of the southern bypass project, on which work commenced way back in 2009, has still to be completed. Although the PWD minister recently announced the overbridge would open by December 31 there is little to show for it.
In another case of inordinate delay, though the straight span of the Lakkar Bridge was opened last April 16 years after construction began, work on the curved span – from the old courts to Bhadaur House – has still not been completed. Earlier the authorities had claimed construction would be over by November. “The railway authorities are still constructing the curved span on their side and it can take another month for the work to be completed”, said MC superintending engineer Dharam Singh.
Meanwhile, the ongoing construction of a flyover at Samrala Chowk has resulted in huge traffic jams. Vipan Sharma,project director, NHAI, said: “Work on the flyover has been resumed but it’ll take some more time”.
Though the MC came in action for applying the patch work on a small span of the road that connects to the underpass, an expert raised question of not applying the tack coat. He said the premix was layered on that span of road in the absence of tack coat. Refuting the allegations, Sunil Kumar, sub-divisional officer, MC, said: “It was just a patch work and there was no need of tack coat.”