As the construction work of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project is affecting various parts of the city and giving a tough time to the commuters, the worst hit is Batala Road, where an elevated path is being constructed for buses.
As the buses under this project will be running on dedicated paths on various routes, the Batala Road stretch — Celebration Mall to Verka Chowk — will see the buses throttling on the elevated road, constructed right in the middle of the existing road.
Once constructed, the elevated passage will give the entire area a modern feel, but things are horrible at present.
The situation becomes grimmer when water gets accumulated into potholes after rains, making it very tough for the commuters to cross the road.
The 3.5-km stretch has no streetlights despite the fact that it’s highly accident-prone.
Since the Batala Road is a very busy area, not only shopkeepers, but people living in adjoining areas also face tough situation each day.
As the stretch connects to the Jammu road, people moving out or entering the city have no choice, but bear the pain.
With no proper service lanes in place and the uneven road dotted with potholes, many a times commuters, especially two-wheeler riders, got hurt.
Joshi had assured of smooth ride, but in vain
Punjab local bodies minister Anil Joshi, who has been drawing flaks from the people and shopkeepers over inconvenience faced by them due to the construction work, visited the Batala Road twice and assured people a smoother ride and proper service lanes.
Unfortunately, things haven’t changed at all, even during the night when the construction is on.
The minister had to face embarrassment after residents of Mall Road and Queens Road areas apprised him of their plight due to the ongoing construction.
Interestingly, the Public Works Department (PWD), which is supervising the project, has its office on the same road, but they seem to have turned a blind eye to the hassles faced by the commuters.
‘Life has become miserable’
Rakesh Sharma, a resident, said: “Life has become miserable ever since the BRTS construction work was started. Even my son got injured couple of times due to slippery conditions. We have taken up the matter with the authorities concerned several times, but to no avail.”
Parveen Kumar, another resident, said, “I appreciate development works, but it should not cause inconvenience to the common man. We have to take Batala Road daily, and don’t know how long this ordeal will continue.”
Rohit Kumar, a local, said, “Leave aside the broken roads, even streetlights are not there. The area is accident prone and becomes dangerous when it rains. The authorities need to react and provide relief to the commuters.”
‘We’ll repair service land’
PWD executive engineer JS Sodhi said, “The stretch is facing little issues, as an elevated passage is being constructed. As soon as the elevated passage is completed, people will not face any problem. Service lanes were made, but got damaged during the construction period. We are in the process to repair it.”