₹17-crore project to cover open drain in Ludhiana gets off the ground
Resident said foul smell emanates from the drain and it overflows during monsoonsUpdated: Sep 18, 2020, 23:13 IST
MLA Surinder Dawar and mayor Balkar Sandhu on Friday inaugurated the project to cover the open drain (now nullah) running from Transport Nagar to Shingar cinema road.
The project has been hanging fire for over four years and residents have been complaining of foul smell and broken boundaries for a long time.
Calling it his dream project, Dawar said the 1.4-km long nullah would be covered at a cost of Rs 17.85 crore within 18 months (by March 2022).
“I had promised residents of wards 55 and 57 in the 2017 legislative assembly elections that I will get the nullah covered and I have fulfilled my promise now,” the MLA said.
He added that a central verge would also be established at the roads and all electricity poles, street lights and transformers would be installed there only.
The project has been prepared by experts from IIT Roorkee and will come as a major relief to residents of Shivaji nagar and New Shivaji Nagar as the nullah moves through these areas.
Amanpal Singh, a resident of Shivaji Nagar, said, “We are irked by the foul smell which emanates from the nullah, which was once a drain. Also, the boundary walls are broken and many accidents have taken place because of this. During the monsoons, the nullah overflows and sewer water accumulates on streets.”
Mayor Balkar Sandhu and municipal commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal said, “A board regarding specifications of the project and contact numbers of the contractor and MC officials concerned have been put up at the site so that residents can complain about any anomalies in the project. The deadline has also been specified.”
Cong, BJP get into war for credit
While MLA Dawar inaugurated the project in the morning, BJP leaders distributed sweets in the afternoon and felicitated former cabinet minister Satpal Gosain for initially taking up the project in 2016.
Former councillor Inder Aggarwal said, “It was Gosain who had got the project approved in 2016 and Rs 6 crore was also approved by the state government. Tenders were floated twice but the process could not be completed due to technical reasons.”
The BJP leaders also slammed Congress for not inviting area BJP councillor Manju Aggarwal for the inauguration ceremony.
Social distancing went for a toss
Despite restrictions imposed on political gatherings, a large number of Congress leaders and supporters participated in the inauguration ceremony.
Social distancing went for a toss and many of them were also not wearing a masks. MLA Dawar said that they did not invite any one, but the nearby residents gathered at the spot.