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Sunday, Aug 18, 2019

Police didn’t find heavy vehicles on Chandigarh-Kharar stretch, but here they are

No heavy vehicle plied on the road beneath Chandigarh-Kharar flyover and we haven’t issued any challan since January till June, says Mohali SSP in reply to an RTI plea

chandigarh Updated: Aug 14, 2019 22:02 IST
Idrees Bukhtiyar
Idrees Bukhtiyar
Hindustan Times, Mohali
MARCH 5, 2019: Kharar SDM had banned the entry of certain categories of goods carriers from 7am to 8pm on the road to facilitate the construction work in 2019.
MARCH 5, 2019: Kharar SDM had banned the entry of certain categories of goods carriers from 7am to 8pm on the road to facilitate the construction work in 2019. (Anil Dayal/HT file photo)
         

In response to a RTI plea filed on July 10 to know the number of heavy vehicles challaned for violating the ban on their entry under the Chandigarh-Kharar flyover, the Mohali police in their reply said that they haven’t found any heavy vehicle plying on the stretch from January till June, so no challan was issued.

In the RTI reply, the Mohali senior superintendent of police (SSP) Kuldeep Singh Chahal said, “No heavy vehicles plied under Chandigarh-Kharar flyover and we haven’t issued any challan from January till June.”

On January 4, Kharar sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) had ordered that the road will remain closed for heavy vehicles — canters, trucks, tippers, and tractor-trailers from 7am to 8pm, barring ambulances, passenger buses and school and college buses — which have to ply on a dedicated lane. 

The decision on the closing the stretch was made to facilitate the construction of the elevated Chandigarh- Kharar highway and the ongoing flyover work.

The administration had banned entry of heavy vehicles from Gopal Sweets chowk towards Khanpur Chowk on the National Highway 21 and from Khanpur Chowk to Swaraj Factory on the Landran-Kharar road. Interestingly, the administration had banned entry of all vehicles from Khanpur Chowk towards Gopal Sweets Chowk and from Kharar bus stand junction to Khanpur Chowk, even as it didn’t give any option of diversion to the commuters.

 The then Mohali deputy commissioner (DC) Gurpreet Kaur Sapra had also banned the movement of heavy vehicles on the stretch from 10pm to 6am in October last year.

On August 2, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) blamed the district administration for failing to divert traffic under the under construction flyover that was holding up the work. They also said the department was unable to repair and maintain the road under the flyover because of the traffic movement.

Last week, Mohali DC Girish Dayalan directed the NHAI and the private firm L&T to make within 15 days the road under Kharar flyover motorable.  “I have already informed the NHAI to let us know wherever they need the diversion, we will do it,” Dayalan had said.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in 2015 had handed over the ₹369-crore project to Larsen & Toubro to streamline the movement of 50,000 vehicles on the busy road daily. Unable to meet the deadline, the firm had sought traffic-free road for speeding up the work. The district authorities had taken up the matter with the state government, after which a panel was formed to find a solution but nothing was done till date.

Residents fume

Residents along the stretch have expressed resentment against the traffic police and the administration for failing to deal with the heavy vehicles that continue to flout norms in the daytime. 

“Presence of trucks and tippers on the route lead to prolonged traffic jams daily, leading to inconvenience, especially to students, patients, and office-goers. Despite a complete ban, how can authorities allow them to ply on this road?” asked a Parminder Singh, a resident of Kharar.

A trucker, wishing not to be named, alleged that several truck drivers were in collusion with the traffic police. “A truck driver pays cops a bribe of ₹400-₹500 for letting him enter the stretch,” he said. 

First Published: Aug 14, 2019 22:02 IST

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