HT Spotlight: Crossing Kharar gives jitters to commuters
On the National Highway-21 leading to Chandigarh, Kharar is the main bottleneck for the commuters. The road caters to traffic from Punjab, Jammu-Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh entering Chandigarh.chandigarh Updated: Apr 22, 2015 13:40 IST
On the National Highway-21 leading to Chandigarh, Kharar is the main bottleneck for the commuters. The road caters to traffic from Punjab, Jammu-Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh entering Chandigarh.
The Kharar bus stand, which is nothing more than an extension of the highway, witnesses frequent jams. With 12 openings for side roads on the stretch from Balongi village to Kharar bus stand, vehicles entering the highway hinders the flow of the traffic. Also, Kharar bus stand is a hotspot for protesters, leading to blockades.
The new private residential colonies, which have mushroomed up in and around Kharar, have added to the traffic congestion as well as the number of vehicles.
Speaking to HT, Kharar municipal council president Anju Chander said, “The airport road connecting NH-21 and the proposed flyover will be a big relief to the commuters. We are also writing to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to construct a flyover from Balongi to Kharar bus stand.”
Former Kharar municipal council president Gurprem Singh Romana said a committee had approved the construction of the flyover, which also got the NHAI nod, but things didn’t move ahead.
“We had requested the Punjab government several times to sort out the traffic problem, but got only assurances,” he said.
“There are nearly 12 road openings on the NH-21, which add to congestion, besides increasing chances of mishaps. Why cannot administration and police together draw a plan to sort out the issue,” questions, Ranjit Singh Rai, an advocate.
The Airport Road dividing Phases 7 and 8 in SAS Nagar, which will be connected with NH-21 near new Sunny Enclave gate by June end, is set to give a huge relief to the commuters.
Also a nearly 10-km flyover from Sector-39 roundabout in Chandigarh to Khanpur village in Kharar is expected to make commuting between Chandigarh to Ludhiana hassle-free.
Due to high number of vehicles on the stretch, commuters often get stuck for hours in jams as traffic of four states cross through the town. The residents demand a flyover for unhindered commuting.
The bus stand on NH-21 remains the main bottleneck. Even as people have been raising voice to shift the bus stand, nothing has been done so far.
The municipal council has failed to tackle the issue of encroachments on the highway, a major cause of accidents. The MC has not carried any aggressive drive to remove them. People park their vehicles on the road, which leads to accidents. Residents allege a nexus between the MC authorities and the encroachers.
NO PARKING LOT
The council has failed to make any provision for parking in the markets. The customers as well as shopkeepers park their vehicles on the road, causing inconvenience to the commuters. Not even a proposal has been mooted to set up a parking lot.
The road dividing Phases 7 and 8 of industrial area in SAS Nagar, which will be complete by June end will streamline the traffic to some extent. Commuters coming from Delhi and heading for Punjab would now be able to take the Airport Road from Zirakpur that would pass through Sector 74 and Phase 8, and then join NH-21 near Kharar. The bypass would also come as a relief for industrial units in Phase 8.
SECTOR 39 FLYOVER
NHAI will construct a 10-km flyover from Sector 39, Chandigarh, to Rudika Pukta village (on Morinda road) in Kharar. The notification for the land acquisition has been issued. Once in place, the commuters travelling between Ludhiana and Chandigarh will not have to cross Kharar town. Omesh Chander Mathur, project director, NHAI, said it would be the longest flyover of the region. “The transport ministry has raised a few objections and we have replied to them. The notification for land acquisition has already been issued and it will be constructed under engineering procurement contract,” he said.