A major traffic bottleneck along the Amritsar-Jalandhar-Tarn Taran road will be removed when on Wednesday deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal inaugurates the refurbished 10-lane updated version of the Taranwala Pul, which till a few days ago was marred by immense traffic jams.
Constructed on the Upper Bari Doab Canal, the bridge is a passage through which the commuters coming into Amritsar and travelling towards Jalandhar or Tarn Taran or going out of Amritsar towards Jalandhar or Tarn Taran must pass. Hence, till a few days ago, it was marred by regular traffic snarls with vehicles of all shapes and sizes trying to be the first to cross the bridge in various directions, resulting in frequent jams.
The 10-lane overpass could prove an even bigger blessing for the commuters bound for Sri Guru Ram Das International Airport once the work on the construction of the flyover coming up at Kitchlew Chowk is completed and the bridge is thrown open to the public.
The commuters bound for the airport would only have to stop at one traffic light, at the Queen's Road crossing, while commuting between the two bridges.
The distance between Kitchlew Chowk and Sri Guru Ram Das International Airport is 16 kilometres, which would be easily traversed once the Kitchlew Chowk flyover becomes operational.
As of now, the commuters coming from Jalandhar or Tarn Taran side towards the airport have to face several traffic bottlenecks, including those at Kitchlew Chowk and Taranwala Pul, which result in traffic jams.
Sources said the work on the refurbishment of the bridge, which should have been commissioned much earlier, was delayed because of the lack of inter-departmental coordination.
"While travelling between Amritsar and Jalandhar or commuting between Amritsar and Tarn Taran, the commuters have to cross the bridge. The previous version of the Taranwala Pul was not well equipped to handle the traffic.
Hence, the commuters used to run into traffic jams. Now, we hope things would improve with the improved version of the flyover," said Kuldeep Singh, a resident.
Ajmer Singh, SE PWD (B and R), who is in charge of the project undertaken by the PWD, said the bridge would offer the much-needed respite to the commuters from the frequent traffic snarls. He said the estimated cost of the project being funded by the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board, was around Rs 26.35 crore.
The SE said the updated version of the Taranwala Pul comprised four access ways-a three-lane thoroughfare connecting Amritsar to Jalandhar, another three-lane access way connecting Jalandhar to Amritsar, a two-lane street connecting Amritsar to Tarn Taran and another connecting Tarn Taran to Amritsar. "We have also constructed footpaths for pedestrians, besides making ample arrangements to control the traffic in the interests of the security of the commuters," he said.