The much-awaited Rs 500-crore Mohali Junction — the region’s first air-conditioned Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) — that was to start operations in October 2011 and has missed four deadlines will finally be made operational by July 31 this year. A Delhi-based company, C&C Constructions Limited, that has executed the project under the public private partnership (PPP) mode will be handing over the completed ISBT to the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) by July-end.
The 6.6-acre terminus — at Phase 6, SAS Nagar, adjacent to the Verka Chowk on national highway-21 — will improve connectivity of the tricity to northern Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir. This has been a dream project of Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal since April 2009, when work started on the facility. With state assembly elections scheduled in early 2017, the state-of-the-art facility is likely to be projected as an achievement of the SAD-BJP government.
DELAY BLAMED ON ECONOMIC DOWNTURN
For the delay in the project, C&C Constructions Ltd has been blaming the ‘sudden economic downturn’.
C&C Constructions general manager (commercial) CVS Sehgal said, “We are set to deliver the ISBT-cum-commercial complex and will operationalise the ISBT portion of the project by July 31. The rest of the project will be completed by December 2018.”
“Once the ISBT is handed over, the old bus stand operating from Phase-8 will close and operations will shift to this terminal. We have the capacity to handle 1,900 bus trips daily,” Sehgal added. The state government has decided to name the facility as Baba Banda Singh Bahadur ISBT after the Sikh general, who is credited with defeating Wazir Khan, the Mughal nawab of Sirhind, leading to the establishment of the first Sikh kingdom in 1711.
“In around 10 days, we will put up a neon board displaying the name on the ISBT terminal,” Sehgal added.