Lack of funds holds up Rs 28-crore sewerage project at Baghapurana
Though Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had announced that the Rs 28-crore sewerage project at Baghapurana town in the district would be completed in eight months, yet the 'dream project' of Sukhbir has been in limbo for the last five years due to shortage of funds.
The foundation stone of the project was laid by Sukhbir in March 2011 and it was to be handed over to the civic body after completion on November 30, 2011. According to sources, a sum of Rs 20 crore was spent on the project till December 2012. After that, the government did not release the instalment of Rs 6 crore and the construction work was abandoned midway.
The project included sewerage work, water supply, reconstruction of roads after putting the underground pipeline and other expenses.
As a result of discontinuation of the project midway, several big ponds of dirty sewage water have developed at the backside of the Giani Zail Singh market and Baba Farid Nagar which have becomes the cause of spread of various diseases. The situation worsens during the rainy season, as several feet deep water accumulates here and the streets almost turn into small ponds after a heavy downpour.
"Residents of Mudki, Nihal Singh Wala, Kaleke, Madeeran and the Moga road have been suffering due to teh accumulation of dirty water in ponds for the last 15 years. There is no hope of early completion of the project in the near future. Four-and-a-half years ago, Sukhbir had promised with that the project would be completed in eight months," said Ashok Mittal, former president of the municipal council of Baghapurana.
Baal Krishan Baali, president of Baghapurana municipal council, said that more than 85% work on the project was completed two years ago. "We had raised Rs 12 crore from the allotment of shops at the new bus stand and spent it on the repair of damaged roads and streets. We had also written several letters to the authorities concerned to pending grant, but to no avail," said Baali.