People block traffic on airport road to protest poor sewerage works
Resentment brewing among residents of colonies along the road linking the holy city to the international airport at Raja Sansi over alleged poor quality of sewerage pipes erupted on Friday as they blocked traffic on the busy road for about 15 minutes to register a symbolic protest against Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board.punjab Updated: Jun 28, 2013 23:16 IST
Resentment brewing among residents of colonies along the road linking the holy city to the international airport at Raja Sansi over alleged poor quality of sewerage pipes erupted on Friday as they blocked traffic on the busy road for about 15 minutes to register a symbolic protest against Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
The board is executing the project of laying sewerage on the two-km stretch from Gumtala Bypass to the Central Jail.
The protesters warned to stall the project if the state government did not ensure use of quality material for laying of sewer pipes in accordance with specifications listed in the project report prepared by the sewerage board.
The protesters were from residential areas like Jujhar Nagar, Guru Amar Dass Avenue, Guru Ram Dass Avenue, Gumtala village, Sundernagar and a number of other colonies that have mushroomed along this road in the last decade or so.
They claimed that the poor quality of material used for laying sewers would ensure these did not last beyond five years, forcing redigging of the road for relaying new sewerage. Former municipal corporation (MC) member Gurjit Singh Aujala, owing allegiance to the Congress, led the protest. He appealed to two area MC members Ammu Gumtala and Ramadeep Kaur to come forward to redress people's grievances on the matter.
"This is one of the busiest roads to the city and used by a large number of pilgrims and tourists who land at the airport. What impression will a tourist take from here if this road collapses or caves in after a year or so," he said.
Sewer line not as per specifications
Area residents claimed that sewers laid were not of approved specifications and were bound to get choked, leading to cracks in pipes. Moreover, the flow of waste into the sewerage was going to increase in future with the coming up of more colonies on the road, they added.
The project entailing an expenditure of Rs 10 crore had commenced on April 27 and is part of the Rs 600-crore project for Amritsar under which sewerage and setting up of two sewage treatment plants (STP) in north and south zones were included.
Sewerage Board XEN Arvind Mahajan maintained that the width as well as quality of sewer pipes was as per specifications. He said that 'dart sewers' were to be laid on the airport stretch but this would have involved digging up of more than half of this busy road. Since it was an important road, the administration wanted that only one lane should be dug up for laying the pipes, allowing traffic movement on the other lane, he added. There would be no choking or damage to the sewer lines, Mahajan asserted while pointing out that these sewer pipes would eventually join dart sewer (6-ft in diameter) running along the drain along the bypass.