Union secretary’s visit: Ludhiana MC officials scramble to clean city
With smart city projects moving at a snail’s pace and the majority of them missing deadlines, the municipal corporation (MC) authorities on Thursday made last-ditch efforts to get the city cleaned a day before the visit of the secretary of the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA), Durga Shankar Mishra.
Mishra is expected to inspect various ongoing and completed projects under the Smart City Mission and other flagship schemes of the union government. He is also scheduled to review the projects in Patiala, Jalandhar, and Amritsar during his three-day visit to the state.
The authorities had initiated cleanliness drives at Malhar Road, Sarabha Nagar, and Pakhowal Road, among other areas.
The project to transform Malhar Road into a smart road had commenced in July 2019 with May 20 as its deadline. The project has still not been completed and the authorities now claim that it will be completed by September end.
Similarly, the Pakhowal road ROB/RUBs project, which was initiated in December last year, has also missed its deadline set for phased completion of the project. The slow speed of the projects is also taking a toll on the movement of traffic in the area.
The project to establish multi-storey parking in Feroze Gandhi market is also hanging fire while the officials have not been able to operate the carcass plant established at the cost of around ₹8 crore in Noorpur bet area due to farmer agitation against the same.
Mishra is also expected to visit the Sidhwan canal waterfront project established in the Sarabha Nagar area and the main Sarabha Nagar market, retrofitted under the Smart City Project. He will also inspect the ongoing works to reduce pollution in Buddha Nullah.
Different projects proposed and being executed under the Smart City Mission will also be discussed.
Sanjay Goel, one of the directors of Ludhiana Smart City Limited (LSCL), has been raising the issue at the state level that the MC should work on chronic issues of the city, including traffic and parking woes.
Ranking improved under smart city mission: MC chief
MC commissioner cum chief executive officer (CEO) of LSCL, Pardeep Sabharwal, stated that regular monitoring is being done to expedite the projects. As many as 24 projects worth around ₹68 crore have been completed while 26 projects worth over ₹1200 crores are under execution.
“The ranking of the city, among all the cities selected under the mission, has improved from 54 to 32 in the past few months in terms of the completed projects. Ludhiana is at the top among the cities in North India, he said.
MC commences road repairs
The MC authorities have swung into action ahead of Mishra’s visit and taken up road repair works in the city. It had earlier delayed the road repair works, citing the rainy season.
The patch (repair) work was done at the roads in Sarabha Nagar, Jagraon Bridge, railway station road among other areas.
Despite, residents’ repeated complaints regarding the pathetic condition of roads, the officials had not commenced the work, citing that the hot mix plant cannot be operated during the rainy season. But now, the work has been taken up because of the MoHUA secretary’s visit.