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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Used for 10 months, bridge to be inaugurated by CM

Sanjeev Bhalla, Hindustan Times  Kapurthala, November 16, 2013
First Published: 21:18 IST(16/11/2013) | Last Updated: 21:20 IST(16/11/2013)

The Rs. 2.5crore bridge over Kali Bein near Bhawanipur village would be formally inaugurated by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday during his visit to Sultanpur Lodhi, 10 months after it became operational. The authorities on Saturday were seen trying to give a fresh look to the 70.5m bridge by repairing the wear and tear.

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The long gap in inauguration has drawn flak from the opposition.

"The CM has become addicted to laying foundation stones, especially around elections. Earlier too, he laid foundation stones thrice in my constituency, twice at Kabirpur village in 2007 and 2011, and once at Karmuwal village. Not even a brick was laid after that," alleged Congress MLA from Sultanpur Lodhi Navtej Singh Cheema.

"What is the fun in laying the inauguration stone of a bridge which has been in use by the public since the beginning of the year? It seems that the authorities were earlier testing the bridge for its strength before getting it inaugurated by the chief minister," he added.

Construction of the bridge was started nearly 12 years ago, and the work of laying beams remained stopped for years due to opposition by people of adjoining villages over land acquisition.

Last minute repairs

Before the inauguration, an HT team noticed the civil authorities constructing a wall for the inauguration ceremony on the bridge. Other maintenance staff was seen cleaning the road, painting white lines and the stones lining the pavement. A team was also seen filling a pothole in the middle of the bridge.

"During the last three months, the authorities have undertaken the repair work on the bridge twice. Either use of poor quality materials or long delay in completion of the bridge is responsible for it," said Gurjot Singh, a Bhawanipur village resident.

"During rain, the earth filled under the bridge usually caves in, causing serious threat to the bridge edges. The design of the bridge is faulty," alleged Sukhjinder Singh, who owns a shop nearby.

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