Completed after much delay, underpass now awaits opening
Even after its completion, the much-awaited underpass (railway under bridge) on the Lodhi Club Road is waiting to be opened, owing to the delay by the district administration.
Having completed the construction work recently, the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) had written to the deputy commissioner (DC).
According to the sources, officials are waiting for assent from Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is likely to inaugurate the underpass, while totally disregarding the inconvenience being caused to commuters for over four years, since the road was initially closed to traffic.
With the Lodhi Club Road, which connects Ferozepur Road to Pakhowal Road, being closed for sewerage work years ago, commuters had started going through the streets of J Block of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar.
Thereafter, after reissuing the tender in December 2012, the work on the Rs 37-crore underpass began in January 2013. At the time, the GLADA officials had claimed that the work would be completed by February-March 2014. However, the construction completed only in October.
“We have completed the work in time and written to the deputy commissioner about it. Everything’s taken care of from our side,” said RK Jaidka, superintending engineer, GLADA.
Sources also said that a 100-metre stretch adjoining the underpass towards Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar was being constructed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT). Hence, the underpass was not being opened. However, commuters continue to pass through this stretch.
LIT sub-divisional officer (SDO) Boota Ram said, “Construction work on a stretch of around 300 feet is going on. But the stretch adjoining the underpass is finished. We have no information about its inauguration.”
“Once the underpass is opened, it would be easy for commuters to travel between Ferozepur Road and Pakhowal Road or Dhandra Road. I travel through the streets of BRS Nagar to reach the Pakhowal Road.
Though work on a small stretch near the underpass is going on, it should be opened,” a commuter Sarabjit Singh said.
Earlier, GLADA was waiting for permission to construct the second sump for the underpass, but later the officials decided to install two pumps on temporary basis as the railways had not given permission for construction of the second sump.
When contacted, DC Rajat Agarwal said, “We will check the correspondence. If GLADA has completed the underpass, it will be opened soon after inspection.”