It’s a bumpy, dusty ride to Anandpur Sahib - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

It’s a bumpy, dusty ride to Anandpur Sahib

It’s a bumpy, dusty ride to Anandpur Sahib

Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, March 13

Lakhs of devotees coming from Garhshankar side to participate in Hola Mohalla festivities here will have to take a bumpy ride besides facing a pall of dust as the Kahanpur Khui road repaired six months ago at the cost of Rs 85 lakh is in a dilapidated condition. The road is used by devotees coming from Garhshankar, Nawanshar and Jalandhar sides.

The district administration has now started filling sand in the potholes, which appeared due to the shoddy repair work. The remedy, however, seems to have boomeranged. Clouds of sand are sent up every time a vehicle crosses.

Area residents cannot expect a respite anytime soon as no new development work can be initiated till May 19 when the code of conduct for the general elections ends in the state.

Even as residents of villages along the road had been holding protests for over a year, the road was not repaired properly.

During the last few years, a large number of tippers loaded with sand and stone lifted from several quarries and crushers in the area used the road every day, thereby damaging it. The state government did not repair the road as the Centre declared it a part of the Banga-Naina Devi National Highway in January 2016. The National Highways Authority of India, however, failed to take possession of the road on the pretext of the delay in submission of a detailed project report by the state government.

With the passage of time, the condition of the road worsened, leading to frequent protests by local residents. The protests forced the state government to release Rs 85 lakh for its repair last year. The repair work was apparently inferior as the road developed potholes within a few months.

Acceding to the requests of local residents, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had on January 24 announced that the road would be repaired at the cost of Rs 7 crore before Hola Mohalla. However, the work was deferred as Union Minister Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone for its widening and strengthening on February 25. As the work did not begin, local residents sat on a dharna on March 7, following which Ropar Deputy Commissioner Sumeet Jarangal assured them that the road would be repaired immediately.

When contacted, DC Sumeet Jarangal said due to the poll code of conduct, tenders could not be issued for the work. For now, the potholes were being filled with sand. Water would be sprinkled on the road to ensure there were no plumes of dust, he added.

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