‘Killer’ Chandigarh airport road: Punjab CM Capt Amarinder forms panel to suggest remedies
Constructed during previous Akali regime, Mohali road already under VB scanner; 4-member panel to give report by October-end.Updated: Sep 27, 2017 14:23 IST
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday constituted a four-member committee to suggest remedial measures to improve the condition of the severely damaged Airport Road in Mohali, which is already under the vigilance scanner.
The chief minister (CM), on recommendation of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), has directed the committee to submit its report within 30 days in the interest of the commuting public, a spokesperson of the CM’s office said.
- The main stretch of Airport Road connects Chhatt village light point on Patiala road to Balongi barrier.
- The 20-km stretch has witnessed 11 accidents this year, in which two people have lost their lives.
- The other stretch from Airport Chowk to Landran-Banur road is 6-km long.
- Four people have lost their lives in mishaps on this stretch in the past two weeks.
Built at a cost of Rs 15 crore under the previous Akali regime, the 200-ft-wide road leading to the Chandigarh International Airport in Mohali, has claimed many lives and has become virtually non-motorable in less than two years of its construction.
Hindustan Times has been reporting about the deplorable condition of the road. Recently, an 18-year-old boy and a 25-year-old woman were killed in accidents on the road.
One of the major projects undertaken by the tainted former GMADA chief engineer Surinder Pal Singh, aka Pehalwan, the road is already at the centre of a technical investigation by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI). Pehalwan is behind the bars in cases of corruption and disproportionate assets.
GMADA has also closed the entire 6-km stretch of the road from Airport Chowk to Landran-Banur road T-point, following a series of fatal accidents and after finding the road to be beyond repairs.
To analyse CRRI technical report
The committee formed by the CM will comprise his technical adviser Lt Gen BS Dhaliwal; chief engineer for national highways, public works department, AK Singla; GMADA chief engineer Sunil Kansal and CRRI’s principal scientist and head of flexible pavements division Manoj Kumar Shukla.
It has been asked to undertake its task without compromising the CRRI’s technical investigation or the vigilance probe, said the spokesperson.
The CRRI, which was entrusted with the investigation in February this year, had submitted its report on July 4. After examining the report, GMADA engineers submitted their observations to the CRRI on July 21. The observations related mainly to the corelation of the executed work with the design of the road and traffic volume survey conducted by the CRRI, highlighting the major causes of road damage and remedial measures.
A CRRI team, along with the top brass of the Punjab Vigilance Bureau, visited Mohali on September 20 to inspect various stretches of damaged roads, which were constructed during the previous regime. The team has collected three more samples from the stretch between Airport Chowk and Kharar-Banur road, which was badly damaged, and one sample each from the TDI road, Aerocity road and the stretch connecting NH-64 to NH-22. The vigilance had pointed to the use of substandard material in road construction.
The CMO spokesperson said the four-member committee will analyse the report, test results and remedial measures suggested by the CRRI, and is expected to give its final report by mid-October.
Meanwhile, additional chief secretary, housing and urban development, Vinni Mahajan said the ongoing investigation must reach its logical end to help fix responsibility of the erring officials involved in this project.
She said even remedial action, in terms of repair and maintenance of the damaged portion of these roads, was likely to cost the state exchequer heavily.