Protest over delay in road construction - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Protest over delay in road construction

Protest over delay in road construction

Our Correspondent

Abohar, October 7

Hundreds of people staged a sit-in (dharna) on the state-highway near the railway overbridge on Monday alleging that the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB) had not fulfilled its promise, made on August 22, of getting the main road reconstructed by October 31.

The stir disrupted the traffic for about three hours with several left stranded and some left with no choice except to divert their routes.

Under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Yojana, the board had started the construction of a 970-m-long road in the Dalit dominated locality of Thakur Abadi from Batra Chowk to Azeemgarh Chowk after a protest by residents on August 22.

The scheme was inaugurated by the then Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on October 27, 2017, in the presence of PPCC president Sunil Jakhar. The minister had directed the PWSSB to complete the first phase of the scheme in 18 months, but the work got delayed. As a result, a dozen shops were shut and residents were without water supply for a year as the sewage pipes could not be laid.

Protesters alleged that residents in Thakur Abadi, Sidhu Nagari, Arya Nagar and Nai Abadi were supplied black water through taps for drinking purpose. The junior engineers seldom took calls to resolve complaints. The board was playing with the health of thousands of people, whereas state government sound “Tandrust Punjab” bugle. Even the Local Bodies Minister and senior officials didn’t take any action against the board, the protestors rued.

Two SHOs tried to pacify the protesters but they refused to budge. Thereafter, SDM Poonam Singh reached the site, agreed to visit the site of road under-construction and called the board’s Executive Engineer Jugal Kishore there. He explained that police was informed about the contractor’s misconduct but in vain.

The SDM then summoned the contractor, whose representative begged time till Friday to resume the construction work. She warned to initiate legal proceedings if the work was further delayed. After the warning, the protestors agreed to defer the stir till Friday, thus breaking the deadlock.

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