The state government has been spending around Rs 222 crore under Urban Rural Regeneration Mission for upgrading the city infrastructure.
The said project is being funded by Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB). The work comprises mostly road carpeting but enhancing ecofriendly infrastructure does not seem to be a part of agenda of the government.
Due to the current set up of the city, it will be impossible to have cycle tracks in coming years, officials at municipal corporation Jalandhar (MCJ) said.
“The only way we can have cycle tracks in Jalandhar is by having more flyovers and by removing encroachments,” said Harkaran Singh, retired, superintending engineer, public works department (PWD).
The existing road width in the city cannot support cycle tracks, said an official. “The government is spending money in an unplanned way in the name of development,” said Jagdish Raja, leader of opposition. We can definitely have cycle tracks if we take into account all the aspects of development. We just need to have better planning, said Raja.
Even major areas like HMV chowk has road around 90 feet wide, with footpath around three to five feet wide leaving no place for cycle tracks, said an official from the building and road department.
The only way to have cycle tracks on such roads is by carving some part of footpath and some from roads, said an official. The officials are terming land width, unchecked encroachments and vehicular population as the possible hurdles in the said work.
An official informed “In Jalandhar urbanisation has taken place in an unplanned manner whereas in Chandigarh, the cycle tracks are carved out from the green area leaving wide space for footpaths and roads.”
CYCLE TRACK DEVELOPMENT
It is to be mentioned that the outsourced firm Darashaw Pvt Ltd had submitted a proposal for the city development plan (CDP).
“Cycle tracks are definitely a part of city’s development. We have also included it in smart city and city development plan, “informed mayor Sunil Jyoti. The city development plan (CDP) is the draft layout of various developments to be carried out in 25 years on a priority basis.