Kharar flyover’s completion pushed to November as labour shortage hits work
Expected to be completed by September after missing multiple deadlines, the Kharar flyover has been delayed again — this time by two more months, now getting the seventh deadline as November 2020.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had handed over the Rs 368-crore project to Larsen & Toubro, that began construction in November 2015. It was to be completed in three years by December 2018.
But over four years later, only 70% work has been completed, with the project being pushed six times to January 2020, March, June, July, September and now to November.
After multiple roadblocks impeding the project’s progress, authorities have now cited labour shortage and shifting of the overhead high-tension power cables as reasons for further delay.
Work on the flyover was suspended on March 22 after the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but was resumed from April 20, with authorities hoping it will finish by September amid restrictions on movement of traffic.
Kharar sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Himanshu Jain, who is supervising the project, said the executing agency was facing labour shortage and was waiting for shifting of high-tension power cables. “To shift the cables, we need to shut down the power supply, but that will cause inconvenience to residents. We are working on finding a way, and will accomplish the task by June 10,” he said.
NHAI project director Krishnan Sachdeva said they were doing their best to complete the project by November end. “Due to Covid-19 lockdown, we are working with only 50% manpower, as the remaining workers have returned to their native states,” he said.
The national highway where the flyover is coming up connects Chandigarh to parts of Punjab, besides Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
This leaves Kharar as a major bottleneck, with around 50,000 vehicles crossing the stretch daily.
“The authorities concerned are not bothered about the inconvenience to commuters and keep indulging in blame game. It is a challenge to cross the stretch, which often even delays ambulances,” said Kamaldeep Singh Tiwana, a resident of Kharar.
It entails widening of the road between Balongi and Kharar T-point, including two flyovers and three minor bridges.
Cost: Rs 368 crore
Construction began: November 2015
First deadline December 2018
Second deadline January 2020
Third deadline March 2020
Fourth deadline June 2020
Fifth deadline July 31
Sixth deadline September 30
Fresh deadline November
Work Completed 70%