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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Underpass from PU to PGI in: Chandigarh planning dept raises red flag, says our objections overlooked

The urban planning department had suggested that an underpass was not required and, instead, a table top must be constructed.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published: November 23, 2019 3:02:25 pm
Panjab university, pgi, underpass, chandigarh planning commission, chandigarh news, indian express Panjab University. (File)

The Urban Planning department has raised a red flag over the administration’s approval for the underpass from Panjab University to Post Graduate Institute Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) stating that their objections were “overlooked”.

The urban planning department had suggested that an underpass was not required and, instead, a table top must be constructed.

“We had already written to the engineering wing that a table top has been recommended here as per the Chandigarh Master plan itself. However, our letter has been ignored and approval was given,” a senior officer of the department said.

A tabletop is a raised platform on the road itself for the pedestrians to cross.

The officer added, “We have written a fresh letter seeking a justification of the underpass there and asking to show us the studies and traffic survey which validates the point to have an underpass.”

The urban planning department has conveyed to the engineering wing that the Chandigarh Master Plan has not recommended an underpass here and a tabletop is more feasible.

When asked about the urban planning department’s objections, UT Adviser Manoj Parida told Chandigarh Newsline, “ All aspects have been taken into considerations by the technical bodies. Opinions and suggestions are welcome and will be seen.”

The underpass was approved on November 5 during a meeting of the administration officials, which was chaired by UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore. Officials of the engineering wing had given a presentation to Badnore about how an underpass will help as the area is heavily crowded on both the sides.

After the proposal, Indian Institute of Architects, Chandigarh- Punjab chapters had also conducted a study and stated that the proposed underpass from Panjab University to PGIMER was not viable and it would be a “colossal waste of money”.

The architect body had found that the underpass will not just disrupt all underground services like sewerage, stormwater disposal, water supply and telecom lines during the digging but for over two years traffic would be completely disrupted. The point is the busiest with over 10,000 patients visiting the PGIMER and similar number visiting the Panjab University.

The study also said that “Le Corbusier was not against overpasses and had proposed some in the last phase of four-phase development plan of roundabout to cope with the growing traffic”.

The study also said that during rains, water would enter the underpass, making it non-functional.

Planning dept ignored for third time

The planning department had raised objections over the sector 29 flyover as well, but the engineering wing ignored it and approved the flyover where 445 trees were to be cut. Two days before, Punjab and Haryana High Court had stayed the cutting of trees.

Similarly, the planning department had also raised objections on the underpass connecting Sector 16 Rose garden and Sector 17. This was also ignored by the engineering wing, which went ahead to construct the underpass.

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