Jalandhar: In the election year, even as Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal sought swift construction of as many as 469 roads, the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation (MC) is yet to invite tenders for over 200 roads in the city.
The deadline to complete the road work was September 30 but till date the MC authorities were struggling with the initial work of road construction and laying inter-locking tiles at various locations in the city. The roads were to be constructed by MC, Jalandhar Improvement Trust and Punjab Infrastructure Development Board.
Though the MC invited quotations through tenders for 460 roads amounting to Rs 167 crore, the construction work amounting to Rs 184 crore was still pending. Interestingly, till date, the MC has completed work on 36 roads only.
Recently, Deputy Commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav, who is also the chairman of Urban Development Committee held a review meeting and took report of the project. On Tuesday, Yadav also held a meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and MC Commissioner Gurpreet Singh Khaira.
Sources maintained that even the construction work of roads was also going on at a snail’s pace, primarily because of the monsoon season. “This is every year’s story. Firstly, the MC authorities lag behind in the construction of roads, then they end up dragging it to the monsoon season, which leads to weak foundation. Most of such roads get broken within no time,” said the residents of Hardyal Nagar near Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Jalandhar.
A majority of the roads in the city were crying for attention, which include the busy stretch of PIMS, Kapurthala road, Old Railway road, roads in the residential areas dug up for sewerage laying work to name a few. Recently, the MC also laid the foundation stone of the much needed four laning project of Jalandhar-Kapurthala road on Saturday.
“Though the MC authorities spend a whopping amount on the construction of roads but lack of storm sewers and drainage system leads to problem. Moreover, as it is election year, Punjab government is trying to project a positive developmental image,” said some shopkeepers on old railway road.
While Mayor was not available for comments, Senior Deputy Mayor Kamaljit Singh Bhatia said that he had already taken up this issue with Mayor Sunil Jyoti in the past but that in turn led to friction between them. “I cannot comment much on the delay of construction of roads project,” Bhatia added.
Deputy Commissioner Kamal Kishor Yadav who is also the chairman of Urban Development authority said, “There is a clear cut direction that all such works should begin 100 per cent by August 31.”
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