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Chandigarh-Kharar highway: Delay inevitable as no call yet on traffic diversions

The NHAI had handed over the Rs 369-crore project to Larsen & Toubro to facilitate movement of 50,000 vehicles on the busy road daily.

punjab Updated: Sep 14, 2018 10:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh-Kharar highway,Chandigarh,Larsen & Toubro
Heavy traffic flow on the Chandigarh-Kharar highway is obstructing the flyover construction.(HT File )

Despite two months of deliberations, the Punjab government has failed to take a decision on traffic diversions to expedite the Chandigarh-Kharar highway project, which is set to miss its year-end deadline.

Now, the state government has formed another committee to suggest ways to speed up the work, which the National Highways Authority of India claims can’t be completed before 2020 .

The NHAI had handed over the Rs 369-crore project to Larsen & Toubro to facilitate movement of 50,000 vehicles on the busy road daily. The 10-km project that began in September 2015 was to be completed by December 2018. It entails widening of the road between Balongi and Kharar T-point, with construction of two flyovers and three minor bridges.

The company has been working at night but traffic on the busy road is making the going tough. The firm had asked the NHAI to provide traffic-free space to it, following which the latter urged the district administration to divert traffic from this busy road.

Options rejected

The district administration had suggested some ways to the Punjab public works department secretary, including diverting traffic coming from Ropar to the Kurali-Siswan road and diverting traffic on the Chandigarh-Kharar road to other stretches.

However, the state government rejected the proposal to divert traffic to the Kurali-Siswan road for two reasons. “The PWD and transport departments were of the opinion that diverting traffic to this road will lead to congestion in Chandigarh, especially around the PGIMER,” said a senior government official. He added that toll collection will have to be suspended, regarding which the contractor and the departments were not on the same page.

New panel formed

Following this, the government asked the district administration to form a panel, comprising officials of the NHAI, PWD and administration, to suggest more ways. The panel held a meeting on Wednesday and will submit its report to the deputy commissioner soon. Sources said the panel is in favour of diverting heavy traffic to the Kharar-Landran road during night.

Meanwhile, the condition of the road is deteriorating by the day. The NHAI, which filled the potholes a few days back, is blaming the rain spells and faulty drainage. “Until drainage issue is sorted out, road repair will not be of any help,” said NHAI project director KL Sachdeva.

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 10:41 IST