Centre seeks fresh Tribune Flyover estimate from Chandigarh admn - Hindustan Times
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Centre seeks fresh Tribune Flyover estimate from Chandigarh admn

By, Chandigarh
Jun 13, 2024 08:38 AM IST

After reviewing the fresh estimate, the Union ministry of road transport and highways will take a call on whether the project can be executed with the same consultant or a new one should be hired

A month after the Punjab and Haryana High Court vacated the 2019 stay on cutting of trees for the Tribune Flyover, the Union ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) on Wednesday asked the UT administration to submit a fresh estimate of the project.

The 1.6 km-long flyover is to be built from near the GMCH-32 roundabout up to the railway overbridge on Dakshin Marg after passing over Tribune Chowk. (HT Photo)
The 1.6 km-long flyover is to be built from near the GMCH-32 roundabout up to the railway overbridge on Dakshin Marg after passing over Tribune Chowk. (HT Photo)

After reviewing the fresh estimate, the ministry will take a call on whether the project can be executed with the same consultant or a new one should be hired.

While allowing UT to proceed with the project in the manner in which it deems fit, the HC on May 1 had also told UT to decide itself whether to associate the earlier contractor or call for fresh bids.

In a meeting held in Delhi on Wednesday, attended by officers of the UT administration and the ministry, the former were told to submit the revised cost and fresh details of the project.

UT chief engineer CB Ojha, who attended the meeting, said they will be submitting the fresh estimate by the month end. “Thereafter, the ministry will decide whether to go ahead with the same Mumbai-based consultant or engage a new one. We are hopeful of getting the approval soon and work on the project should begin within two or three months,” he said.

The 1.6 km-long flyover is to be built from near the GMCH-32 roundabout up to the railway overbridge on Dakshin Marg after passing over Tribune Chowk. Then UT administrator VP Singh Badnore had laid the foundation stone of the 137-crore project on March 3, 2019.

It was being touted as a solution to the traffic mess in the vicinity of the busy Tribune Chowk. More than 1.43 lakh vehicles, including 1.35 lakh passenger car units (PCUs) cross Tribune Chowk — the rotary on the intersection of Dakshin Marg and Purva Marg — on a daily basis, as per traffic projections quoted then.

Initially, the UT administration had planned a 7-km flyover, but the Centre reduced the length to 3.5 km. Later, the Union ministry of road transport and highways further reduced the length to 1.6 km.

However, on November 20, 2019, the high court had stayed cutting of trees, acting on the plea of a local NGO, The Run Club, that had challenged the UT administration’s proposal to cut trees for the project.

Over four years later, the HC bench of acting chief justice GS Sandhawalia and justice Lapita Banerji lifted the stay on cutting of trees and allowed UT to proceed with the project in the manner in which it deems fit.

While discussing problems due to traffic from Panchkula and Zirakpur, the court had said, “The need as such is to ease the traffic in such situation, rather than to block the development. The stay…has taken Chandigarh back by a decade. In such circumstances, we are of the considered opinion that it has led not only to cost overruns but also ensured that the town has not progressed and developed which is the need of the hour.”

It further recorded that traffic coming from Delhi/Dera Bassi into the city was held up for 90 minutes due to traffic jams.

Zirakpur with one lakh population has flourished due to high cost of living in Chandigarh and a large number of residents from there visit the city on a daily basis for various purposes. “Thus, all residents also flow continuously in and out of Chandigarh. The need as such is to ease the traffic in such situation rather than to block the development,” it said, while referring to a Supreme Court judgment, which said courts should be reluctant in interfering with infra projects and contracts involving technical issues as there was a requirement of the necessary expertise to adjudicate upon such issues.

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