With the area being spruced up,roads being carpeted and helipads being constructed,preparations are going on for the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 14. The PM will hand over keys of the one-room tenements constructed at Dhanas under the rehabilitation scheme to the beneficiaries.
Three helipads are to be constructed on IRB campus at Sarangpur. Of this,construction of one is complete while that of two others is likely to be completed before September 7. The decision to construct the helipad at the site was taken to ensure that the traffic in the city is not disrupted. While a helipad exists at the Rajendra Park,the route from here to Dhanas would have involved passing near PGI.
The site at Sarangpur was,however,not the first choice. Earlier,it was proposed that the helipad should be constructed at Dhanas. However,the site was rejected by the Air Force authorities due to excessive bird movement. Vultures and crows keep hovering over the dumping ground near by. It was felt that this could create problems for the landing of the helicopter. When the officials inspected the site,birds were present there as well.
It is proposed that the PM would land at the Chandigarh Airport and from there a helicopter would take him to Sarangpur. During the PMs visit in 2009 to PGI,an ambulance got stuck in the traffic that was stalled for him to pass,causing the death of a patient. The PM is an alumnus of Panjab University and has a house in the city.
UT Home Secretary Anil Kumar said that the final schedule of the PM is yet to be finalised. We would get to know the timings in the coming days. For ensuring security,SPG personnel are expected to be here this week. Attempts are being made to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the city residents and traffic snarls avoided, he said.
On Monday,the preparations for the visit were reviewed by Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil. Officials of the administration have been paying frequent visits to the site. More than 8,000 tenements are to be handed over to the beneficiaries. In the remaining flats,a decision has been taken to develop social infrastructure. It is expected that between 35,000 and 40,000 people would live in the area. Facilities like school,dispensary,anganwaris as well as a police post are being provided in the complex.
Earlier,it was expected that the PM would be handing over the keys in April or May this year. In fact,BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan had started a campaign in the colonies asking people not to take the keys to the tenements and instead demand two-room flats. However,the visit never materialised.
With a confirmation about the PMs visit,the area is being spruced up. The road leading from Sarangpur to Dhanas has been recarpeted. The finishing touches are being given to the tenements,the construction of which was completed several months back.