After a long wait, the construction work of the four-lane national highway 95 from Ludhiana to Talwandi Bhai (Ferozepur) via Moga (92 km), which had been suspended for one and half years, will be resumed in the next 20 days.
The contractor for the project and senior officials of the district administration organised a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the same.
Commuters were the affected because of a dispute between the main contractor and the sub-contractor for the project, due to which work had been suspended. More than 50 lives have been claimed due to incomplete construction of bridges in the last one year, but nobody paid attention.
Varaha Infra Ltd, the firm handling the stretch, had terminated work claiming that it had not been paid a pending amount of Rs 50 crore by a company called PAN India which had delegated the work to the firm. PAN India had sourced the work from ESSEL Infrastructure Private Limited and had filed an application at a Ludhiana court seeking formation of arbitration for disposal of dispute of Rs 50 crore in the matter.
According to sources, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had awarded the contract for the four-lane road to ESSEL Infrastructure Private Limited, which had awarded it to PAN India for Rs 692 crore. PAN India then appointed Varaha Infrastructure for the job.
Varaha had started widening the road a year ago and the NHAI had recently issued a work certificate of Rs 392 crore for the same. Varaha sent a termination notice to ESSEL on November 11, 2013. After 15 days of sending the notice, Varaha filed an application in a Ludhiana court seeking formation of an arbitration body.
Moga citizen welfare counsel chairman Dawarka Nath Bansal said, "There are more than 30 underpasses which are under construction on this road. These have been posing problems for traffic. The road is diverted at many places due to which it has become prone to accidents."
Sources said that ESSEL had finished its agreements with the first contractor and had signed a new agreement recently with the new contractor for finishing the pending work of NH 95 soon.
When contacted, Moga deputy commissioner Parminder Singh Gill said the main officials of ESSEL Infrastructure Private Limited had submitted a detailed report to the NHAI regarding the current status of NH 95 work.
"In a new development, the construction work of this road will be started within 15-20 days and construction work will first be completed on the road from Ludhiana to Moga in six months. After that the other part from Moga to Talwandi Bhai will be completed soon," said Gill.