Waiting for approval of funds to re-carpet the potholed roads of varsity, it was mud that was used to cover the craters as union minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal visited Punjab Agricultural University on Saturday.
The roads leading to Central Institute of Post Harvesting and Engineering Technology (CIPHET), a central government unit setup inside PAU campus are particularly in battered condition and have not been re-carpeted since years.
Since the first stoppage of the minister was CIPHET only, employees were asked to make sure that all potholes are properly covered with mud. However as the cavalcade of Union Minister passed through mud covered roads, clouds of mud blew off uncovering the potholes hidden by the varsity.
“We did not want the Union minister and the deputy CM to have a bumpy ride. All arrangements were made to ensure smooth travel and potholes were covered but it did not work,” said a varsity employee.
Punjab Mandi Board is yet to approve a budget of Rs 4 crore for renovating roads in the varsity. The roads were last renovated for the visit of PM Manmohan Singh to PAU in 2012 during the university’s golden jubilee celebrations, said a source.
Meanwhile, while ‘Welcome’ hoardings were especially placed across all major turns and roundabouts of varsity, minister’s visit also led to cleanliness drive across campus with gardeners pruning trees at varsity’s entrance and grasses being trimmed across PAU lawns which were neglected till now. Varsity estate office and chief engineer Jaspal Singh did not respond to calls despite various attempts.