The claims of municipal corporation (MC) to open the Lakkar Bridge to public by February-end have fallen flat, due to delay from railways end, if the civic body is to be believed.
The MC had assured the Vidhan Sabha Committee in January that the Lakkar Bridge would start operating by the end of February, but the project is still not complete.
This Y-shaped bridge has been hanging fire for more than 16 years. The work on the straight span is almost finished, but according to MC officials, it would take one month more as the railway has not completed their part of the work.
When the project was initiated in 1997, its cost was estimated at Rs. 13 crore, a figure that has now escalated to about Rs. 58 crore.
A visit to the Lakkar bridge revealed, the expansion joints are being installed by the railways on the straight span (Old court area to near Clock Tower), while the road has also to be carpeted in some places.
On the other hand, the work on the curved span (which will lead to Bhadaur House from Old Court area) could take more time as the railways has to join two sides by constructing a bridge. The portion on top of the railway tracks is yet to be completed for curved span.
Municipal corporation additional commissioner Dharam Singh said, “The railway authorities had informed us that the construction work of straight span will be completed in February, which we further informed to the Vidhan Sabha committee.”
“I inspected the ongoing work, and found it would take one more month on the straight span as the railway authorities have to complete their work. We are not responsible for the delay,” he added.
“The work on the curved span which will lead to AC market could take around three months more. However, MC and public works department have completed their work,” he claimed.
The new overbridge would provide easier access from the city's old areas to the newly developed ones.
When contacted, Ludhiana railway station superintendent Ravinder Sharma claimed that the work on straight span of Lakkar Bridge would finish by mid of March. He said parts for curved span were being prepared in a plant in Morinda.